Russia was forced to launch military actions in Ukraine to save itself from NATO military bases and Ukrainian Nazism, and the “special military operation” is necessary and important for all Russian citizens, according to a propaganda narrative distributed one year after the start of the full-scale invasion. The truth is that Russia, without being threatened in any way, launched an imperial war to bring Ukraine under its control.
NEWS: “The special military operation is a vaccine for Ukraine against betraying Russia, but also a punishment for those who left the country [...], the commander and founder of the People's Militia of the Luhansk People's Republic, Colonel Vitaly Kiseliov, told URA.RU.
There were preparations underway then, NATO instructors were arriving in the area, and their military bases were to appear on the territory of Ukraine. We couldn't wait any longer, we had to strike first [...]. We are fighting not only against the Ukrainian army, but also against foreign mercenaries, instructors from the West [...].
Ukrainians from the eastern regions are forcibly conscripted into the Ukrainian army by Kraken, SBU, S14. They are mobilized in penal battalions, coordinated by Zelensky. I know, for example, the city of Kharkiv, which has always been a place for bandits and militia. Now the conditions there are unbearable, all the normal people have left the town.
[...]We cannot accept the erasure of Ukraine from the face of the earth. They are our brothers and sisters, we have relatives there. Yes, they were brainwashed, they were destroyed, but now they do not know how to take revenge on the authorities because the men are forcibly mobilized and sent to the front. They need us, our help [...].
The biggest problem is the fascist ideology in Ukraine, which we will destroy step by step. But it won't be like 1945 when our grandfathers stood up and said they wanted peace. It will be a longer period of time. The full-scale military actions will end this year, but there will be others for two or three years more [...].
Demilitarization and denazification will be successfully completed. The Russian people, from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin, must understand that the special military operation is necessary for each and every one of us.”
NARRATIVE: The “Special Military Operation” saved Russia from NATO’s invasion and Ukrainian Nazism.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: One year after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a series of propaganda narratives justifying the “special military operation” have been published in Russian state media, presenting it as an achievement by the Kremlin or as a step taken right on time to prevent the destruction of Russia by NATO. The interview published by URA.RU summarizes the false narratives regarding the war in Ukraine promoted in Russia since February 24, 2022 and repeatedly debunked by Veridica.
In reality, Russia's aggression against Ukraine was triggered when the latter opted for European integration. The model of liberal democracies and the rule of law is seen as a threat to the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin. If Ukraine were to become an EU member country, with the prosperity and stability brought by this status, the Russians would see that this model is also viable in the ex-Soviet states. Russia did not invade Ukraine to defend itself from NATO, and Nazism as a core ideology in Ukrainian society is a propaganda fabrication. The West began sending defensive weaponry to Ukraine in the run-up to the war and amid concerns from intelligence services abroad that Moscow was preparing to invade. Larger-scale arms deliveries only occurred after the February 24, 2022 invasion, and even then they were mainly individual and portable weapons .
There are no NATO bases on the territory of Ukraine, as the Russian media claims. They may be set up only after the accession of Ukraine to the Alliance, according to the domestic legislation and only with the consent of the Constitutional Court, as art. 17 of the Ukrainian Constitution strictly stipulates. Also, all NATO military bases and training centers can be seen on the interactive map of the Alliance.
At the same time, Nazism and fascism in Ukraine are fabrications by the Russian politicians. In July 2015, Ukraine banned by law any public display of communist and Nazi ideology , so to claim that this state must be “denazified” is total nonsense. Moreover, the Ukrainian military participated in the Soviet army's victory over Nazism. The Russian press frequently categorizes nationalist (or even identity) manifestations in the ex-Soviet space as forms of Nazism/fascism. In reality, according to international experts, neo-Nazism and extremism are very important ideological trends in Russia , especially in the Russian army, and have become tools used by the Kremlin to control and manipulate society through media.
The interview published by URA.RU also contains a number of logical contradictions. If Kyiv mobilizes more Russian-speakers into the army against their will, then Russia must send more troops to Ukraine to help the Ukrainians, according to the interview. That is, killing Russian speakers mobilized in the army is a form of help from Russia.
In fact, for a long time, the Ukrainian army relied on volunteers and soldiers originating from western Ukraine. Between 2014 and 2022, many Ukrainians from the west, who voluntarily joined the army, died in the fighting in Donbas. After Russia launched its full-scale invasion against Ukraine, Kyiv took the decision to force men who have the status of internally displaced persons to register, after a few days of stay, with a military commissariat. This registration does not mean mandatory mobilization , but it allows Kyiv to assess its human resources in this war. The decision cleared the air in Ukraine, reducing this internal divide to a minimum. The Russian press, however, built various propaganda narratives starting from Kyiv’s decision, according to which men with the status of internally displaced persons are persecuted, sent to the front, and women are left without any protection.
Another false narrative about Russia’s restraint in bombing Ukraine in order to protect civilians, which Veridica has written about, is also mentioned. In reality, since the beginning of the war, civilians have repeatedly been the target of Russian attacks. Notable cases include the bombing of the theater in Mariupol, of the railway station in Kramatorsk, the convoy near Zaporizhzhia, the killing of civilians in Bucha, Irpin, Kyiv and other places, crimes that are being investigated to bring Russia to international justice.