Vatnik Soup
Soup number121
Date10.3.2023
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Russian narratives

In today's #vatniksoup and another edition of "You pronounced this nonsense, not me", I'll go through some of the most common pro-Russian claims and tropes. I have discussed these in previous soups, but I feel like this type of general collection would be a helpful resource.
1/23
As many of you know, the Kremlin and other pro-Russian propagandists like to repeat the same old lies over and over again. This is part of the "Firehose of Falsehood" system that they have been using at least since 2013, probably even longer:


2/23
Let's go through some of these stories:

1) "Ukrainians shelled Donbas for 8 years, killing 14 000 Russian civilians" - This lie was promoted even by Putin himself. It is naturally not true, as Russians provoked the whole conflict in Donbas and the UN data tells us...

3/23
...that almost 11 000 deaths were actually Russian and Ukrainian soldies, and around 3500 casualties were civilians, of which 9% came from the shooting down of MH17. Read more here:

4/23
2) "Ukraine is ran by Nazis" - The far-right party, "Svoboda" got around 2% of the total vote, and didn't get any representatives to Verkhovna Rada.Most "evidence" for Ukrainian Nazis are anecdotal, and the far-right Azov Battalion has been disbanded:
lens.monash.edu/@politics-soci…
5/23
There probably are some soldiers who have far-right views in the Ukrainian Army, but so does every other army, too. Russians, on the other hand, have a huge problem with far-right groups:

6/23
It's worth noting that this narrative is not even targeted so much at Western people. The rhetoric of "The Great Patriotic War" (meaning WW2 where the Soviets fought against the Nazis) is mainly targeted at Russians, as they see it as a great victory.

7/23
This war has been sold to them as a natural continuation of it, which is why they need the Nazi-angle: it allows them to make up a story of "we beat them once and now we have to beat them again".

8/23
3) "US started the war by supporting coup d'etat in 2014 on Maidan" - Not true. Maidan was an organic event, but it's still a very complex issue. The US supported Ukrainian democratic processes through an association called National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which...

9/23
...pro-Russian propagandists call it a "CIA-funded entity". They base this on individual quote, naturally taken out of context, by Allen Weinstein: "Much of NED's work involves doing what the CIA used to do". Weinstein refers to the change in US strategy of from covert...
10/23
...action (CIA-funded covert coup d'etats) to overt actions (support of democratic processes through overt and transparent organizations), stating that the latter strategy is much more efficient.

I will write more about Maidan, NED, etc. in the near future.

13/23
4) "Ukraine broke the Minsk agreement" - Ukraine and Russia both did, and the whole thing wasn't really going to work anyway. Neil Abrams (@neil_abrams) have written extensively about this topic, check his thread here:

14/21
5) "Russian-speaking Ukrainians are being oppressed in Ukraine" - First of all, it was the Soviets and Stalin who tried to destroy Ukrainian culture by transporting huge numbers of people to other parts of the USSR. This is how he tried to get rid of the Crimean Tatars.

15/23
He also tried to fill the Donbas Oblast with Russian miners and other workers, and denied local Ukrainians of their culture and language.

Second, no Russians are being oppressed, it's just a story developed by the Kremlin and by Vladislav Surkov:

16/23
6) "NATO provokes the war with its expansion" - Another issue that I have written about previously. No such promises were ever made beyond East Germany, and if James Baker had said it, nothing was ever put on paper.

17/23
Even if he did mean it and we follow this logic, Putin should retreat from Crimea because in 2008 he said that it is part of Ukraine - just watch this interview. More about NATO expansion here:

18/23
7) "Ukraine has banned the Orthodox Church in Ukraine" - This bullshit was spread by Donald Trump Jr., saying that Zelenskyy is "banning Ukrainian Orthodox Church", apparently trying to appeal to the American Christian population.

19/23
Of course he hasn't, as he only banned Kremlin-connected religious groups. This was done because there is solid evidence that these groups were spying on behalf of Russia.

20/23
8) "Zelenskyy is a drug addict money launderer who dances in drag" - Various bad actors have tried to make Zelenskyy a greedy drug-addict but the only prove for this are the deep fake videos and photoshopped images making rounds on social media.

21/23
Some even argue that because Zelenskyy was dancing in high heels and drag on music video, he's not fit to run the country. This is of course another version of the "Decadent West" trope, pushing for "traditional values" instead of things like LGBTQ+ rights.

22/23
But tell me: which country's leader is happily married with children, and which has illegitimate children, history of divorce, and at least one secret mistress? Read more about Zelenskyy disinfo here:

23/23
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