US media is reporting that what is described as a “Kremlin propagandist” has given a talk to Russian troops repeating the recent Russian accusations that Russia is fighting “Satanism” in Ukraine in the form of homosexuality. According to the Newsweek report, the remarks were made by Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian state TV presenter said to be an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
January 19, 2023 In a segment that recently aired on Russian state TV showed Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov giving a pep talk to troops, saying that Russia is fighting a “holy war” against “Satanism.” Rossiya‑1 host Solovyov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, replayed his visit to Russian troops, showing both him and a commander named Magomed Khitanaev speaking to a group of men fighting in Ukraine The first to speak in the clip, which was posted to Twitter by Daily Beast columnist and Russian Media Monitor creator Julia Davis, was Khitanaev, who gave a lengthy speech in which he made multiple homophobic attacks. “We’re on the side of God! We are defending divine laws. We are defending our faith. We’re asking: Oh Ukrainians, why did you permit gay parades in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa?” Khitanaev said. “Why did you permit it? Why didn’t you come out against them, against your government that was overtaken by fascists? Without shame before God, people, they are openly, manifestly spreading their filth.”
The commander went on to say that Pope Francis “officially legalized same-sex marriage” and “sex change.” .…… “What is this? The Roman Pope officially opened the temple of Satan,” Khitanaev told the Russian soldiers. “That’s why they are on the side of Satan. And we are on the side of God.” He added: “We are defending divine laws. Our spirit can’t be broken. Right now, we’re waging the holy jihad, the holy war.” Solovyov chimed in, saying “we continue on through our children.” “What kind of children do they have if men sleep with men?” he asked the Russian troops.
Read the rest here.
On 23 February 2022, a day before the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Solovyov was sanctioned by the European Union. and His villa on Lake Como in Italy was later seized by Italian authorities.
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported last week on the Russian claim that on the eve of Orthodox Christmas, Ukrainian special forces dug up graves in the Kharkiv region for use in accusing Russia of torturing civilians. We reported last November that Russia was reframing its justification for the invasion of Ukraine by moving away from “denazification” to the “complete de-Satanization” of Ukraine. The above report is consistent with this theme.
GIOR reported last December that President Vladimir Putin had signed into law the bill that expands a ban on so-called LGBTQ “propaganda” in Russia. GIOR first reported on the new legislation in early November 20222 when Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev told a Duma hearing that passing the law would be part of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.
Putin has long been known for his desire to become the ideological center of a Global National Conservative (GNCA) alliance described in a GIOR report as follows:
Russian President PUTIN has expressed an interest in Russia becoming the ideological center of a new global conservative alliance, and European far-right leaders have taken pro-Russian positions based on a similar ideology. Hungary is at the center of a developing alliance between European far-right nationalists and American conservatives that Russia could potentially exploit for use in information warfare. This alliance operates under the rubric of “National Conservatism,” centered on national sovereignty, cultural identity, and opposition to global institutions and representing a potentially radical change for the US conservative movement away from long-held Reagan-era philosophies.
Read the full report here.
GIOR reported in late October that Putin had once again delivered a speech in which he extensively referenced so-called “culture war” themes commonly espoused by rightwing/conservative Western elements. In his remarks, Putin referred to “strange, in my opinion, newfangled trends like dozens of genders and gay pride parades.”
Opposition to “gender ideology” is a central issue for the GNCA, and GIOR has also reported on the role played by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), a Hungarian education facility supported by the Orban government, in disseminating Russian-style anti-LGBTQ propaganda. We have also reported on the new Italian far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the anti-gay positions of her and her coalition partners.