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RussiaFebruary 10 2022, 13:24 pm

Pro-Kremlin Media Stoke Tensions Around Ukraine, EU Watchdog Finds

EUvs­Dis­in­fo, a dis­in­for­ma­tion watch­dog run by the Euro­pean Union’s for­eign ser­vice, is report­ing that as the diplo­mat­ic efforts to stop aggres­sive esca­la­tion along the Ukrain­ian bor­ders con­tin­ue, the pro-Krem­lin media keeps stok­ing the ten­sions with inflam­ma­to­ry and mis­lead­ing mes­sages. In par­tic­u­lar, Russ­ian audi­ences are being told dai­ly that the West, NATO, and the US are threat­en­ing Rus­sia. Accord­ing to a Euvs­Dis­in­fo report:

Feb­ru­ary 10, 2022 As the diplo­mat­ic efforts to stop aggres­sive esca­la­tion along the Ukrain­ian bor­ders con­tin­ue, the pro-Krem­lin media keeps stok­ing the ten­sions with inflam­ma­to­ry and mis­lead­ing mes­sages. The bulk of these are direct­ed pri­mar­i­ly at domes­tic Russ­ian audi­ences, which are told on a dai­ly basis that the West, NATO and the US are threat­en­ing Rus­sia.  Polls by the inde­pen­dent Lev­a­da Cen­ter show that most Rus­sians (around half of the respon­dents) blame the US and NATO for the cur­rent esca­la­tion and only around 4 per cent think it is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the Russ­ian lead­er­ship. Near­ly eight years after the ille­gal annex­a­tion of Crimea and the begin­ning of the armed aggres­sion in Don­bas, the recog­ni­tion that the Krem­lin is in fact threat­en­ing Ukraine is a mar­gin­al posi­tion in Rus­sia.  These atti­tudes are the fruits of labour of Russ­ian state-con­trolled media, which has been cul­ti­vat­ing the myth of an “encir­cled” Rus­sia for years, fuelling fears (accord­ing to Lev­a­da, 56 per cent of Rus­sians are afraid of world war) and delib­er­ate­ly mis­rep­re­sent­ing the val­ues, his­to­ry and poli­cies of Ukraine, EU and NATO for mil­lions of Russians.

Read the rest here.

The report high­lights how Rus­sia uses dis­in­for­ma­tion for the fol­low­ing pur­pos­es dur­ing the con­flict with Ukraine:

  • To dis­tort cause-and-effect rela­tion­ships in order to obfus­cate the Kremlin’s respon­si­bil­i­ty for the esca­la­tion of tensions
  • To cre­ate space for polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary maneu­ver­ing, f.e., the option of direct mil­i­tary aggres­sion over unfound alle­ga­tions of “immi­nent atroc­i­ties” against the pop­u­la­tion in Donbas.
  • To elim­i­nate and crack­down on inde­pen­dent media outlets.

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