Propaganda Digest: This is our weekly analysis that exposes the most exaggerated, misleading, and outrageous rhetoric from recent Russian media sources, aimed at promoting critical thinking to better debunk the manipulation of Russian propaganda.
On China-US Trade War and New Logistic Routes
Putin: In relation to China, long before it all began in Ukraine, Western partners, […] , began to impose these kinds of sanctions. That was when it all started. A trade war between China and the United States. They imposed limitations, including those related to logistics, for which we are now interested in forming a new logistic routes
The trade war between the US and China is a battle for technological dominance. It has nothing in common with the restrictions put on Moscow. Sanctions imposed on Russia due to military aggression, while China has not carried out external interventions since the war with Vietnam in 1979.
On Repealing Ratification of Nuclear Treaty in the State Duma
Putin: The State Duma has the authority to repeal the ratification.
The parliament in Russia mindlessly approves any whims of the presidential administration. Therefore, this is a decision exclusively of Putin himself, and the mention of the Duma is a feeble attempt to shift responsibility.
On The Use of Veto in the United Nations
Putin: Let us recall the first few years of the United Nations’ existence. When there was the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Gromyko. They called him Mr NO. Why because there were many discrepancies and so the Soviet Union frequently used their right to veto but this did not lead to any kind of conflict.
Unlike Putin, Andrei Gromyko advocated for a diplomatic strategy, expressing a preference for a decade of negotiations over a single day of warfare. However, the truth is that the Soviet Union waged proxy wars in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and eventually invaded Afghanistan during Gromyko’s term.
On the Yugoslavia Crisis and the US’s ‘No Mercy Bombing’
Putin: We frequently hear from Western leaders that the United Nations system is outdated and that it doesn’t answer for today’s problems. This was particularly voiced when the Yugoslavia crisis began, when, in the absence of all sanctions, and right from the Security Council of the United Nations, the United States, and its partners began to bomb Belgrade without pity or sorrow.
Although true, In 1999, the United States and NATO conducted Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia without UN Security Council authorization, but this decision was taken by NATO to address ethnic conflict and human rights abuses in Kosovo. NATO contended that it was a humanitarian necessity, as obtaining UN approval was hindered by the threat of vetoes from Russia and China. Putin often raises the historical context of past wars in order to justify his invasion of Ukraine. The Union was, prior to the intervention, involved in many regional proxy wars of the Cold War through arms, advisors/specialists, and economic support to loyal regimes, thus a vassal of influence for the Russian state
On Western Notions of the Rule of Law and Colonial Mindset
Putin: What are these laws? It’s quite unclear; it appears somewhat nonsensical. The West, particularly the United States, seems to be attempting to emphasize the importance of adhering to ‘the rule of law.’ But which laws exactly? Western states are essentially presenting a set of rules and dictating how people should conform to them, often in a blunt and forthright manner. This approach reflects a colonial mindset when they insist on what you need to do, what is required of you, and issuing stern warnings. Who, after all, gives them the right to ‘warn’ us?
Russia is actively working to reshape international structures and norms, aiming to transition from a bipolar global system to a multipolar one. This shift is seen as an attempt to increase Russia’s influence on the international stage, following a disastrous invasion. In terms of warnings, it was Putin who, during his morning address before the full-scale invasion, issued a stern threat to the West and any potential interveners, promising “responses unlike they have ever seen before.” This was accompanied by displays of nuclear saber-rattling.
On Russia the Peacekeeper and the 2014 “State Coup”
Putin: We did not start this so-called war in Ukraine; on the contrary, we are attempting to end it. It was not I who orchestrated the 2014 state coup in Kyiv.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine occurred in two major phases, first in February 2014 and then again, this time at full scale, on February 24, 2022. In the months leading up to the 2022 attack, Russia amassed hundreds of thousands of troops around Ukraine and restricted access to the Black Sea. Russia indeed started the war.
Regarding “state coup”, this was a democratic response from the people of Ukraine who opposed the ruling president, Yanokovich, a proxy President controlled by Russia (who later fled to Russia).
Putin: Odesa, of course, is a Russian city. Well maybe a little bit Jewish. Just a little bit.
According to the 2001 census, the majority of the city’s population is Ukrainian – 61.6%, with a significant share of Russians – 29%, and Jews – 1.2%. Unfortunately, a census has not been conducted for more than 20 years, so there is no official data available to the public on the ethnic composition of Odesa’s population. However, it is reasonable to assume that the proportion of citizens who identify themselves as Ukrainians has increased as a result of Russian aggression and generational change.
On NATO Expansion and Wasted Verbal Agreements with the US
Putin: I’d like to revisit the topic of NATO expansion, specifically the discussions with our American partners. Initially, they claimed there was an agreement through verbal communication, but now they’re demanding written documentation, and if it’s not on paper, they seem to dismiss it. We insist on their verbal promise, and they admit to making such a promise, but argue that without written confirmation, it holds little value. Well we also know that your paper isn’t worth anything
NATO expansion took place on a voluntary basis, the USA did not force any country to join the Alliance. The argument about verbal promises is worthless from the point of view of international law. There is no documentary confirmation of those agreements between Washington and the Kremlin, as they would actually limit the sovereign right of European states to an independent foreign policy.