#8 tRUecrime Podcast: “The Drug Addict” – RUSpropaganda Smear Campaign Against Zelensky

Our podcast is dedicated to tackling russian hybrid threats and the tools of influence russian propaganda employs. Produced by Hybrid Warfare Analysis Group (Ukraine Crisis Media Center)

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Host: Matt Wickham, UCMC Analyst

Today’s topic of our conversation is The ‘Drug Addict’ Smear Campaign Against Zelensky: Deconstructing Russian Propaganda Tactics.

EP Summary:

Russian propagandists have consistently used insults and false claims to undermine Zelensky’s global influence during the war. One of their main propaganda tactics, which they have recently revived and repeated extensively, is to label Zelensky as a drug addict. This strategy aims to deceive both Russian and Ukrainian audiences by portraying Ukraine’s leadership as illegitimate, corrupt, and led by an intoxicated leader during the conflict.

The resurgence of this propaganda campaign was triggered by Zelensky’s proposal to legalize medical cannabis for Ukrainian soldiers affected by the war and Ukraine’s continued participation in significant international events from which Russia is excluded.

In this podcast, we will examine the rhetoric employed by Russian propagandists to intentionally distort the image of the Ukrainian government.

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