Vladimir Putin’s ‘idiotic’ Ukraine propaganda undermined by his own people
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bluster about potential insurgencies in Ukraine – which he has touted as a pretext for an invasion – is nothing more than ‘idiotic’ propaganda that has been circulating for years.
According to The Daily Beast’s resident Russia expert Julia Davis, Putin’s puppets on state television have been parroting his threats toward Ukraine since 2018, revealing that his current campaign to recapture the former Soviet territory is a farce.
“Putin’s bold-faced demand for ‘security guarantees' caught the West off-guard, but the pro-Kremlin mouthpieces were bursting with pride about the leader’s ‘genius’ plan. They spilled the beans on state television and even in Russian parliament, boasting about how Putin had intentionally asked for the impossible, only to turn around and use NATO’s refusal as an excuse to re-invade Ukraine on a larger scale,” Davis wrote on Wednesday.
Putin’s false flag operations, which included shellings of schools, were merely an attempt to save face on what has been an ongoing ruse, Davis wrote.
One expert, open-source investigation Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins, summed it up perfectly earlier this week.
“These are genuinely some of the most idiotic efforts at disinformation I've seen. I expected to be lied to, but I didn't expect all those lies to be so blatantly dumb. I'm actually offended at the poor quality of this propaganda and feel bad for Russia for having produced it,” Higgins tweeted on Monday.
These are genuinely some of the most idiotic efforts at disinformation I've seen. I expected to be lied to, but I didn't expect all those lies to be so blatantly dumb. I'm actually offended at the poor quality of this propaganda and feel bad for Russia for having produced it.— Eliot Higgins (@Eliot Higgins) 1645457155
Putin’s plans were also proffered to Russian audiences by pro-Kremlin television personalities.
During a recorded speech at the State Duma on Dec. 2021, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the ultranationalist leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party, discussed Putin’s sham proposal to NATO. Zhirinovsky told fellow parliamentarians: ‘I liked one phrase from what the President said yesterday... he said that we won’t allow our proposal to result only in futile discussions... They either fulfill it, or we’re moving forward with another option... Let it be February 22, 2022 at 4 a.m.’ Zhirinovsky added: ‘The year 2022 is the year of the tiger. It’s a breakthrough, a jump by the Russian tiger…This won’t be a peaceful year, but a year when Russia will become great again and everyone will have to shut up and respect our country.’
Furthermore, Davis continued:
That wasn’t the first time Zhirinovsky had made predictions about the current chaos unfolding in Ukraine. Back in 2018, in an appearance on state TV show 60 Minutes, Zhirinovsky said: ‘We don’t need a part of Ukraine, we’re waiting for it to be primed to take the whole thing. We’ll be taking all of Ukraine in its entirety.’ The audience clapped. Zhirinovsky continued: ‘Americans [the Trump administration] are ready to accept that Russia will get the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. But if they get to keep the western parts, they’ll be mounting provocations out of there. All of Ukraine will go to Russia. But only when the situation is ripe.’
Propagandists also decried the attempts at diplomacy initiated by the United States and its European allies as pointless gestures.
“Why did we need these talks? I believe, for only one reason: legitimizing Russia’s further military and military-technical activities,” Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko said. “We knew in advance how these talks would end… we said, it’s time for a new reality, when diplomacy is powerless. It’s time for militarily coercive diplomacy on the part of Russia. We will hit carefully, but hard. In this sense, Russia’s hands should be—and will be—untied for any actions.”
Host Olga Skabeeva expanded on this, calling the talks “merely a formality, just to show we tried everything.” She added that “we’re talking to them so brashly, it’s clear that we’ve already decided what to do and how to behave.”
In another instance, last November, Kremlin lawmaker Aleksei Zhuravlyov predicted that Ukraine is a problem that I believe will be solved in the near future.” Skabeeva expressed confusion at that statement, to which Zhurvalyov replied, “you will understand, and soon. I’m sure of that.”
She confidently concluded, based solely upon a cryptic prophecy, that “Russia has a very secret—and a very smart—plan” and told a Ukrainian panelist to “stand there and be very afraid.”
And then, after Putin ordered his troops to enter Eastern Ukraine on February 22nd, Zhuravlyov declared that Putin will overtake the remainder of the country “the moment there is a provocation” by Ukrainian forces. “There will be a provocation,” he stated. “I guarantee it.”
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