‘Tis the season to reflect on the passing year, and for HWAG, it means looking back at tons of Russian disinformation and propaganda we have monitored and singling out the key narratives and messages. Look at this Christmas tree in our infographics in the best of the holiday spirit, made of two halves: the “evil” one (containing the main messages of Russian disinformation in 2022) and the “good” one (with the refutation of the Kremlin’s lies).
As always, the Kremlin used its mouthpieces in Russia and proxies in other countries to discredit the image of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but a new specific target appeared after Russia launched a large-scale attack against Ukraine on February 2022 – Ukrainian refugees. This year, Russia poured enormous resources into spreading fake news about Ukrainians, the vast majority of whom are women and children, that fled the war to the Western countries.
Significant efforts were invested in attempts to destabilize Ukrainian society and break the remarkable will of Ukrainians to keep fighting Russian aggression. To this end, the political and military leadership of the country was targeted, but also volunteers, as the Russians saw how effective their work is in supporting the Ukrainian defenders. Trying to cause dismay within Ukraine didn’t work, as Ukrainians’ motivation to keep up the resistance and their faith in the victory persist, even after 10 months of hostilities.
With the ninth package of sanctions against Russia adopted by the EU in December, Russia undoubtedly feels the burden of escalating measures and thus conducts information operations to blackmail the West into easing the sanctions. The Kremlin relies on the help of its allies, such as Orbán’s regime in Hungary, to push its narratives in the EU.
The upper-mentioned are just key goals of Russian disinformation about Ukraine, all of which serve the ultimate target – making Ukraine surrender to continue the genocide of the Ukrainian nation and proceed with the further restoration of the Russian Empire.