How random whataboutism on the web feeds Russian propaganda

Nixing the Ukrainian president’s appearance on Telecast, Oscars producer Will Packer expressed concern about “Hollywood only showering Ukraine with attention because those affected by the conflict are white” and “ignoring wars around the globe that impact people of color”. That is why the award for best documentary was given to the “Navalny” movie.

Such a position is very beneficial for Russian propaganda promoting whataboutism and portraying Ukrainians as privileged white colonizers who over-emphasize their war trauma on the West and silence the non-white voices. The same motivation was in promoting disinformation about “Ukrainian customs officers preventing people of color from leaving Ukraine” at the start of the large-scale invasion.

However, all the claims “What about Palestine/Syria/Afghanistan/Rwanda/Ethiopia” disseminated by pro-Russian bots on social media, do not offer solutions for other wars and genocides. Such a destructive approach is just aimed to distract attention from Ukraine and undermine Western support for our state.

It is foreseeable that both Ukraine skeptics and Russian sympathizers in the West will not specify that despite their skin color, Ukrainians were in the position of oppressed and colonized nation as well. When Russia wipes out Ukrainian identity, the color of skin, sex, religion, political position or language preferences do not matter since Russian aggression targets everything Ukrainian. Therefore, advocating Ukraine’s fight for freedom does not equal advocating the “white people’s rights”. It also involves advocating for Ukrainians of any origin who chose the Ukrainian identity — and this is Russia’s main concern.