The US Government has issued a statement denouncing Russia’s disinformation regarding the causes of the current global food crisis. According to a US Department of State: press release:
June 22, 2022 The devastating effects of Russia’s aggression have disrupted Ukraine’s economy , which in turn has exacerbated global food insecurity. Ukraine has long been the “breadbasket of Europe, ” feeding millions of people across the globe. It is a top grain supplier to dozens of African and Middle Eastern countries. Now, after Russia’s February 24 all out invasion, Ukraine has turned “from a breadbasket to a breadline” while the Russian government uses disinformation to mislead the world about the cause of this crisis. Food insecurity has risen because of Putin’s war of choice. It was not caused, as the Kremlin claims, by sanctions that the United States and many other countries have imposed in response to Russia’s horrific aggression against Ukraine. Food insecurity was rising before the invasion, and Putin’s war exacerbated that trend. Russia mined Ukrainian grain fields, attacked merchant shipping on the Black Sea, and blocked Ukrainians from exporting their own grain. Russia is also plundering Ukrainian grain for its own profit, pilfering grain from Ukrainian warehouses according to credible reports. All these actions have worsened food insecurity around the world.
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The statement also says that Russia has launched a “massive disinformation campaign” to deflect attention from Russia’s responsibility for worsening global food insecurity by blaming sanctions, “the West,” and Ukraine. The campaign focuses on the crisis’s most heavily impacted regions – the Middle East and Africa – and the false narratives are amplified by Kremlin-controlled state outlets such as RT Arabic and RT en Francais, as well as Chinese state-affiliated state media.
In April, the Global Influence Operations Report reported that Russian influence operations are succeeding outside Western information spaces where antipathy for the West is deep and sympathy for Russia real. We have also extensively reported on China’s amplification of Russian disinformation.