Pro-Kremlin propaganda is trying to convince Europeans that the West, especially NATO and the United States and in particular a genocidal Nazi regime in Ukraine, is responsible for the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. These efforts have increased in intensity since Russia attacked Ukraine unilaterally, a new analysis by Political Capital asserts.
The organization’s researchers say that not only media outlets like RT or Sputnik International, but even pro-Kremlin media in Hungary is full of claims that Russia is only trying to protect those in the Donbass region, while Ukrainian saboteurs are the ones who have caused trouble, or that Moscow is trying to stop genocide in Ukraine.
And of course, they claim, civilians are not under attack at all, despite the existence of numerous images and videos online of civilian casualties and destroyed residential areas.
Several political commentators and experts in Hungarian pro-government media outlets have “recited” the Kremlin narrative on genocide without the slightest hint of criticism of its actions, notes Political Capital.
For example, one analyst from a pro-government think tank determined that if there was truth to the allegations that Ukraine had committed genocide and was pursuing nuclear weapons, then the claim that the attack on Ukraine was unilateral could be challenged.
Commentators on these same channels expressed the opinion that Washington’s real goal was to “separate” Ukraine from Russia.
From the government’s side, at the moment the political elite appears to be promoting a “central” narrative that largely is in favor of Ukraine, with objective information appearing in government-friendly media.
At the same time, the dissemination of pro-Kremlin, anti-Ukrainian narratives are “outsourced” to experts and opinion leaders close to Fidesz, with opinion pieces promoting these views in media outlets that tow the government line.
“In this respect, therefore, the Hungarian government’s ‘swing’ policy has not ended,” write the research institute’s authors.