RussiaJanuary 25 2023, 9:53 am

Russian Claims of “Satanism” in Ukraine Likely Believed by Putin, Russian Leaders

A For­eign Pol­i­cy report pro­vides insight into the shift in Russ­ian nar­ra­tives about the war in Ukraine from accu­sa­tions of neo-Nazism to claims of “Satanism” Accord­ing to the report, the Krem­lin is prepar­ing for what it refers to as “psy­cho­log­i­cal infec­tion of per­son­nel” by an adver­sary who would hyp­no­tize them and con­trol them using mys­ti­cal and psy­chic abilities:

Jan­u­ary 3, 2023, There are plen­ty of rea­sons these days to won­der if Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and his cronies are off their rock­ers. But a recent­ly leaked memo from the Krem­lin reveals that those in charge of the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment are far­ther down the rab­bit hole than most of us real­ized. The memo, pub­lished by the Insid­er, a Russ­ian news out­let in exile, out­lines how the Russ­ian Fed­er­al Guard Ser­vice (FSO), which pro­tects high-rank­ing offi­cials such as Putin, would han­dle the inva­sion of Ukraine — or any oth­er war — spilling over onto the country’s own soil. It focus­es on psy­cho­log­i­cal pre­pared­ness, ensur­ing that FSO offi­cers would have the “moral and psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port” need­ed to resist what the memo calls a poten­tial “mas­sive ide­o­log­i­cal attack.” But the Rus­sians aren’t sim­ply wor­ried about the usu­al wartime pro­pa­gan­da, like sneaky radio broad­casts or under­ground news­pa­pers. Instead, the Krem­lin is mount­ing prepa­ra­tions for what it calls the “psy­cho­log­i­cal infec­tion of per­son­nel” by an ene­my who would manip­u­late them through hypnosis—as well as through unknown mys­ti­cal and psy­chic pow­ers. The memo warns of “psi-gen­er­a­tors” and “hyp­not­ic abil­i­ties” used by for­eign per­son­nel. Belief in mys­tic pow­ers is rel­a­tive­ly com­mon in Rus­sia, where rough­ly 20 per­cent of peo­ple have vis­it­ed a psy­chic and more than 60 per­cent believe in some form of magic.

The report goes on to explain that Putin and oth­er Russ­ian lead­ers are staunch believ­ers in mys­ti­cism and that  Russ­ian Ortho­dox ideas of spir­i­tu­al war­fare and a demon­ic West have mixed with such beliefs and become part of Russ­ian state vocabulary:

Such fears may be enforced at the top. It’s long been rumored that Russ­ian lead­ers, includ­ing Putin, believe in mys­ti­cism, astrol­o­gy, numerol­o­gy, and psychics—as well as a con­vic­tion that their rule over a greater Rus­sia is pre­des­tined. As far back as 1988, the New York Times report­ed that “[h]oroscopes, folk med­i­cine, psy­chic heal­ing and all man­ner of mys­ti­cism occu­py a promi­nent place in Sovi­et soci­ety, part faith, part fad, but no joke.” Mys­ti­cism merges with more con­ven­tion­al Russ­ian Ortho­dox beliefs about apoc­a­lyp­tic sce­nar­ios and satan­ic influ­ence. At a Sep­tem­ber cer­e­mo­ny of the annex­a­tion of parts of Ukraine, Putin described how the West­ern “sup­pres­sion of free­dom itself has tak­en on the fea­tures of a reli­gion: out­right Satanism.” Then, in Octo­ber, the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment shift­ed its jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of the war, claim­ing it had a moral imper­a­tive to “car­ry out the de-Sataniza­tion of Ukraine.” While the lan­guage of satanism is some­times used pure­ly as exag­ger­at­ed rhetoric, some­times it’s meant lit­er­al­ly. Con­ser­v­a­tive Russ­ian Ortho­dox ideas of spir­i­tu­al war­fare, in which the West is depict­ed as lit­er­al­ly demon­ic, have become incor­po­rat­ed into the Russ­ian state’s own vocabulary—and mixed with the country’s enthu­si­asm for psy­chic pseudoscience.

Read the full report here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has been report­ing on Russ­ian claims of Satanism in Ukraine, includ­ing a report from yes­ter­day that a “Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­dist” had giv­en a talk to Russ­ian troops in which he told them Rus­sia is fight­ing “Satanism” in Ukraine in the form of homosexuality.




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