Our final topic, picked by you, dear listeners, earlier in a poll on our Facebook page, is “Fake News: Why Has It Taken Over The EU?”, focusing on the fake news tidal wave which has hit the continent. It’s debatable when this really started, but most non-Western observers outside the bloc can generally agree that it became visibly undeniable around the time of “EuroMaidan” when the European press echoed their American counterparts in screaming about what they said was the “Russian annexation” of Crimea. Almost right afterwards, it then morphed into an imaginative and totally unproven “Russian invasion of Ukraine” in describing the Donbas Liberation War, curiously pretending that Russia had waged a blitzkrieg against its neighbor without anything of the sort even remotely happening.
This false narrative then gave birth to an even more grandiose one about a supposed “Russian threat” ominously hanging over Europe and seemingly on the verge of conquering the continent at any given moment. To feed into this hysteria, unconfirmed and later disproven reports of “Russian submarines” menacingly lurking off the shores of Sweden apparently convinced Europeans that Moscow was ready for war. Voices in Poland and Lithuania then started fear mongering about what they said was an imminent “Russian invasion” through the so-called Suwalki Gap connecting both of them together and separating Kaliningrad from Belarus. While the military fears appear to have receded a bit over the past couple of months, the European press is now pushing an equally fake story that “Russian spies” and “propagandists” are plotting to hack the French and German elections, allegedly in order to install a “pro-Kremlin” candidate like they ludicrously believe just happened in the US with Trump.
Taking it a step further, however, the EU’s fake news obsession now aims to spread past its borders and into Russia’s own, with reports streaming in that Russian-language “information services” have been set up in the Baltics as a first step in this direction. Seeing as how the EU can’t control its impulse to spread fake news about Russia to its own population, it’s very probable that they’ll resort to the same tactics in their outreach to Russian speakers, making many people wonder what it is that they hope to achieve by spreading disinformation among this community.
Michal Mazur, an independent researcher on Syria and political warfare from Poland, and Petri Krohn, Finnish political commentator, commented on the issue.
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