The most aggressive vectors of internal and external propaganda have been officially adopted in Russia.
The primary vectors of Kremlin propaganda for the near future are officially seen as approved. It’s the protection of rights of Russian speakers worldwide and preservation of historical truth.
It was this that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about at the event dedicated to Diplomat Day. He noted that “[i]t is important to step up efforts to ensure the rights and interests of compatriots abroad and protect the Russian language.” Also, he focused on preserving “the historical truth about the Great Patriotic War”. “This is especially true in the context of the 75th anniversary of the Victory, which is celebrated this year,” Putin said.
Of course, this in no way restricts the Kremlin propaganda and fake news factories from working beyond this agenda, but we can safely say that the new vectors of Moscow’s efforts will imply much more serious destabilization beyond Russia’s borders.
In particular, the language issue will allow Russia to intervene at the diplomatic level – and perhaps beyond – in the internal affairs of Ukraine, the Baltic States, and other countries. This vector, relayed in the Russian mass media, will provide social and public support for any foreign policy provocations and expansion of all forms and types based on the argument about the protection of Russian speakers’ rights.
In addition, as expected, Russia, positioning itself as a power whose citizens are being infringed in other countries, could play the same notes in relation to other nationalities, supporting populist and nationalist movements that manipulate the issue of national dignity through the language issue. For example, as Hungary is doing regarding the alleged infringement on the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine’s Zakarpattia region.
Considering the fact that so far such initiatives of the Kremlin have failed, the buildup of forces and resources to implement destabilizing scenarios with wider implications and consequences can’t be ruled out.
As for preserving the historical truth, even in Putin’s speech, manipulation was used. Namely, it was about applying the concept of “The Great Patriotic War”, while ignoring the global concept of World War II. In a certain sense, this not only demonstrates that the preservation of historical truth for Russia is in the first place about its concealment, but also about manipulation and distortion.
Russia has earlier made similar attempts to rewrite history, but apparently in this decade, particular attention will be paid to this topic, with an absolute and total distortion of facts. Moreover, this distortion, along with the “problems” of Russian speakers abroad, can equally distract the population from further impoverishment. After all, both narratives are subconscious triggers of impaired national pride. This is what the poor population has been taught for the last decade, and especially the last five-year period – national “greatness”.
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