By XHABIR DERALLA
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is not surrendering and is waging a war against Russia. He should have surrendered and allowed the Russian army to enter Ukraine and occupy it. Instead of resistance, he should have organized flower parades and cordons of people throwing flowers at the convoys of Russian tanks and armored vehicles, as Putin planned. Then, there wouldn’t have been (that many) civilian casualties.
This is what (part of) the propaganda smokescreen looks like, which, if needed, is lowered and raised in the public, both in North Macedonia and around the world.
Welcome “behind the smokescreen”. CIVIL’s tireless team continues to drive away the dark clouds of disinformation and propaganda. This team’s main weapon are the facts of the reality as it is. It’s an extremely difficult task, because in these difficult times of conflict, the truth is the first victim on the battlefields, both the political and military ones. In the public, both in our country and everywhere, the main topic is the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and thus disinformation and propaganda on this topic are most intense.
What are the most frequently repeated disinformation and propaganda messages we have witnessed in the past years, and especially in the past months right before and immediately after the start of the brutal war in Ukraine? I will number just 10 of the many disinformation and propaganda messages that manipulate the Russian and world public.
- LIE: Russia didn’t attack Ukraine, but is rather conducting a “special operation for denazification” of Ukraine.
- LIE: Russia is trying to prevent genocide in Donbas.
- LIE: Russia discovered “secret US laboratories for production of biological weapons” in Ukraine and that is why it attacked it, in order to defend itself from the threat.
- LIE: Ukraine attacked Russia.
- LIE: The dead bodies in Bucha are staged, British services are framing Russia, the Ukrainians killed each other.
- LIE: Russia wants peace, but Ukraine doesn’t want that.
- LIE: Ukraine is acting as the US, EU, NATO say so…
- LIE: Ukraine is a fictional state, Ukraine, the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian language don’t exist.
- LIE: Volodymyr Zelensky is a Nazi and is not a legitimate leader of Ukraine.
- LIE: Zelensky is to be blamed for the civilian casualties, for not allowing the country to surrender.
Russia attacked Ukraine with the purpose to occupy it. At the same time, one should have in consideration the whole time that the war started in 2014, with the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. During the attack and occupation of parts of Ukraine from 2014 to the beginning of the full invasion on February 24 this year, about 14,000 people have been killed.
Russia assisted the establishment and armed the paramilitary formations in the Donetsk region, where the Russian Orthodox Army is the most numerous. We cannot talk about a genocide in Donetsk, as it’s a completely absurd claim. On the contrary, there is evidence of harassment and killing of civilians by the Russian occupation forces and Russian paramilitary formations during the entire 8-year period.
The claims of Nazification of Ukraine are manipulative. In Ukraine, like in many other countries in Europe, and even around the world, including also in Russia, there are neo-Nazi groups, with some being organized in political parties as well. In Ukraine, the neo-Nazis are few in number and have no influence and no representatives in parliament.
Volodymyr Zelensky is of Jewish decent, and some of his ancestors had fallen victims to the Holocaust. He cannot be a neo-Nazi, even if he wanted to.
Zelensky won the power in Ukraine with 72.23% of votes in the free and democratic elections in 2019. One of his program determinations was also a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Russia. He has been advocating for peaceful solutions and dialogue with Putin since the first day in his Cabinet.
While the whole world, the media and human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the OSCE and many others are witnessing horrible suffering of the civilian population by the Russian army that kills children, systematically rapes women, girls, and in one case also a baby, which one Russian soldier who committed the crime had recorded it and showed it around – the Russian propaganda is talking about staged scenes or that the Ukrainians had they themselves killed civilians.
It is precisely Russia that is carrying out genocide, which can be seen from the horrific and devastating evidence on the ground, after the withdrawal of the Russian army from the occupied territories.
Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state and nation, with a separate language, culture, tradition and rich history – facts that are established in science and confirmed by all relevant world institutions. These facts cannot be refuted by the attempts for essays of Russian President Putin, already infamous as a war criminal and architect of the genocide in Ukraine.
In Ukraine, like in many other countries, there are laboratories for medical research for the fight against diseases and improving the work of public health institutions. Some of them are financed by the US, EU and WHO. It concerns transparently financed projects, both in Ukraine and in many other countries in the world, published on the websites of the donor institutions. Russia claimed they were “secret US laboratories”.
The disinformation was created by the propaganda kitchen of the Kremlin, and was distributed by the far-right circles in Europe and QAnon in the United States.
The most absurd claim of Russia is that it is the one defending itself and that Ukraine has attacked Russia. There is no need to specifically deny this.
Despite all disinformation and propaganda messages that the Kremlin is trying in all possible ways to impose on the Russian and world public, the facts of reality and the evidence from the ground completely deny them.
No single missile of aggression, no matter how destructive it may be, can destroy the fact. Fear cannot change the truth, not even the thousand-time repeated lies. The number of people misled by the propaganda is not evidence of the truth. On the contrary. If there is a belief that the Earth is flat, it doesn’t mean that it really is flat.
“Behind the smokescreen” is a common title of a series of panel discussions and presentations that CIVIL will hold in the next six months. This is the introduction in the first edition dedicated to disinformation and propaganda, broadcast live on April 14, 2022.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska
This is an opinion article. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the Author. This content is permitted to be used under the Creative Commons 4.0 license.
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