Taking advantage of the raging protests in the US and the EU, Russia is preparing another move to compromise Ukraine in the eyes of international community.
Against exposures of Russian involvement in all major destabilizing efforts, from cyber-penetration of Bundestag websites in Germany and coronavirus hospitals in the Czech Republic to fueling violence and looting at US protests, Russian are now clearly trying to offer a false trail to shift suspicions away from themselves . And this false trail, obviously, will be an infamous story about Ukrainian nationalists partaking in and even almost "supervising" protests.
The thing is that now, in the gray segment of the internet, (which is traditionally used to launch fake news at their initial stage) this time through information resources of the unrecognized "republics" in Eastern Ukraine, an massive spin is underway, claiming that Ukrainians with combat experience are allegedly set to be deployed to support protests.
Such information is disseminated by the so-called "intelligence" of unrecognized entities. They also claim the effort is funded the favorites of Russian propaganda – U.S. businessman George Soros and ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
In fact, Russia's classic and absurd boogeyman story about Soros and Poroshenko sending nationalist assault teams to Europe and the United States to destabilize these countries has been served! Of course, we could have all just burst out in a standing ovation to this outrageous and ridiculous fake piece, but...
Honestly, it's for good reason that I just wrote that this story is something well known to Ukrainians, since it's not the first time Russian propaganda is playing a game by the same plot.
The thing is that last year the Cyrillic segment, followed by the vast English one, span photos of Ukrainians who allegedly took an active part in the protests in Hong Kong. First of all, those pics went viral across Russian media, some of which even investigated into how those Ukrainians appeared in the distant Asia to become what Russians claimed was "supervisors" of the local "Maidan".
Some of the most compassionate readers may say: "We don't care what Russian media say!" Perhaps the compassionate readers don't because they aren't aware of the tactics and strategy of an information war being waged against their country, which no less than harmful than some 122 mm artillery shelling.
Having seized from the fallen Soviet Union the baton of global choaos architect, Russia exploits any destabilizing events happening on foreign soil. Also, Russia shifts on others the blame for fueling unrest, just like Russian media did when they accused Ukraine of "exporting the Maidan" to the rest of the world.
Four Ukrainians who were spotted in Hong Kong in 2019, including Serhiy Filimonov, one of the leaders of the 'National Corps' movement and ex-leader of the civil wing of the Azov Regiment, who was just a droplet in the sea of protests, by doing this PR stunt (or possibly not quite so), rendered Ukraine a colossal disservice and helped Russia a lot in the information war domain.
Four Ukrainians, covered with unequivocal tattoos and sporting peculiar T-shirts with the inscription in Ukrainian "Who is behind the murder of Katia Handziuk" (the activist whose brutal murder for anti-corruption efforts sparked outrage among activists and drove some to the streets to protest government inaction] starred in Russian media reports. While these compassionate guys didn't care much about that, Chinese authorities apparently did. Beijing put plenty of unpleasant questions to Kyiv, and it's not some compassionate readers who had to answer them but Ukrainian diplomats.
For example, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui, stated the “reliable” facts of the “Ukrainian trace” in the protests in Hong Kong, and accused the Ukrainians of transferring their “experience” to the Hong Kongers. And the Foreign Ministry had to puff out for the trick of four Ukrainians.
Then, over-zealous wannabe patriots, if I may call them so, rendered Ukraine a disservice by providing media trump cards to the adversary – the Russian Federation – and brought certain misunderstanding in relations between Ukraine and China. But what about now?
As we know, NATO has just included Ukraine in the Enhanced Opportunity Partnership, which was a rather unpleasant gift to Ukraine's hybrid neighbors on their national "Russia Day". And taking into account how painfully the Kremlin reacts to any rapprochement between Ukraine and NATO, I won't be surprised if a certain campaign to compromise Kyiv will be carried in this regard as well. Moreover, the stage with all the props is waiting for actors.
Cameras are just waiting to capture at the protest rallies in the US and the EU some young people with peculiar tattoos or distinctive T-shirts with Ukrainian inscriptions looting stores or just being part of the violent crowds. So if anyone wants to tar Ukraine, this is the perfect opportunity amid global public focus on the ongoing rallies across Western democracies.
That’s all it needs. I can already imagine titles like "Ukrainian militants destabilizing Europe!" or perhaps it would be "… the U.S.", depending on where it's cheaper and more important to deploy a group of these "actors". And again, these people could be both aware and oblivious of being exploited by Russia. Most of the times though those who are being manipulated tend to remain blind to what's really happening...
Also, it can also be that there'll be no need to send anyone anywhere as Russian assets from among all sorts of ultra-radicals and neo-Nazi scum could simply use in their act some distinctive objects attributed to Ukraine or simply put pseudo-Ukrainian graffiti on some walls – like Russian Wagner PMC troops clumsily did as they were retreating from a Libyan town.