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Anti-misinfo site: Russian propaganda twisted former NATO commander's words

Ukrainian mortar operators in Donetsk (photo is illustrative).
Ukrainian mortar operators in Donetsk (photo is illustrative). Source: ERR

Russian misinformation and propaganda efforts remain in full flow in relation to the Ukraine war, as evidence by the recent twisting of words of a former high-level NATO commander, anti-misinfo site Propastop reports.

The fabricated claims were aimed at casting doubt on the strength of Ukraine's armed forces, simultaneously apparently paying homage to Russia's supposed military strength.

Propastop states that Russian propaganda primarily targets both Russians in Russia, and Russian speakers in the West who consume Russian-language media, and who hold a pro-Russian stance in the ongoing conflict.

The main goal out of this is to create a false impression of the West abandoning Ukraine, while portraying a Russian victory as being imminent.

This messaging aims to shape opinions, fostering a sense of success and inevitability with regard to Russia's military actions.

This propaganda strategy incorporates undermining Western support for Ukraine, simultaneously boosting Russian morale, diverting attention from the realities of war and of this war, and influencing Russian-speaking communities residing in the West, including in Estonia.

A recent concrete example of this misinformation comes in the false claims that former NATO Commander of European Forces, James G. Stavridis had stated that the Russian army significantly surpasses Ukraine's.

Stavridis in fact did not say this and has not "cast doubt on the Ukrainian Armed Forces."

Stavridis had merely mentioned in the context of his December 14 piece for news site Bloomberg entitled "Congress Pressures Zelensky—and the U.S. Comes out on the Losing End" that, at present, the Russian army has a significant advantage in the sphere of aviation, just as any armed forces will have relative strengths and weaknesses.

Stavridis went on to stress the importance of continued military support from its Western partners for Ukraine.

Stavridis also noted that Ukraine "at the very least will be able to restrain further significant Russian advances on land with sufficient resources," and categorically did not state that the "Ukrainian Armed Forces significantly lag behind the Russian army."

James Stavridis (left) pictured in 2014 with Estonia's president at the time, Toomas Hendrik Ilves Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia

In his article of December 14, Stavridis primarily criticizes the American establishment for any diminishing interest in the Russia-Ukraine war and for any delays to decisions on further military support for Ukraine.

Stavridis put the US and Europeans necessary combined military aid to Kyiv bill at US$100 billion, a drop in the ocean in the context of their combined defense budget of over US$1.2 trillion.

This would, the very least, enable Ukraine to curb further significant Russian advances on land, ahead of American F-16 fighters due to arrive in Kyiv, along with more modern missile systems (ATACMS and HIMARS) and a sufficient stock of basic weapons, from next spring.

The original Propastop piece is here.

Propastop is wholly staffed by volunteer Defense League members and publishes content in German and Russian, in addition to English and Estonian.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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