Russia will have to expand its military operations in several Ukrainian regions in order to defend itself against the threat of Western arms provided to Kyiv, according to a propaganda narrative disseminated by the Russian state media. In reality, the West is supporting Ukraine to defend itself against the aggression of Russia, which has committed war crimes, caused enormous destruction and triggered a refugee crisis in the EU.
NEWS: “The aid offered to Kyiv by Western states in the framework of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will determine the expansion of the special military operation with the aim of ensuring Russia's security, said the State Duma deputy and representative of Crimea, Mikhail Sheremet.
“The more the Western states will get involved in the internal politics of Ukraine, the more the area of the special operation will expand, to create a buffer zone and avoid neighboring our enemies”, Mikhail Sheremet told RIA Novosti .
The State Duma deputy also recalled the American authorities’ statement supporting the Ukrainian offensive in Crimea and Donbas. “The Kyiv regime must understand that the support of the Western states will have the opposite effect to the one expected by Ukraine and the authorities”, Sheremet said.
NARRATIVE: The West is forcing Russia to expand its military operations in Ukraine.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In reality, the West is supporting Ukraine with humanitarian aid, weapons and ammunition in response to the Russian aggression. The “special military operation”, which is an act of unprovoked aggression against a neighboring state, was initially aimed at changing the political leadership of Ukraine and subordinating Kyiv to Moscow's political interests.
The West began sending defensive weaponry to Ukraine in the run-up to the February 24, 2022 invasion amid concerns from foreign intelligence that Moscow was preparing for war. Western support for Ukraine since 2014 has been linked to the Kremlin-funded war in Donbas, and the provision of large lethal weaponry to Russia's full-scale unprovoked aggression in 2022. The Russian propaganda, citing pro-Kremlin politicians, tries to achieve, as it has before, a narrative switch, by turning the cause into the consequence. The cause – the invasion of Ukraine – is presented in a willfully false way as a consequence of arms deliveries.
The Russian aggression has been condemned by most of the world's states. 141 member states of the UN General Assembly voted for a resolution condemning the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Only 5 states, including Russia, voted against. With the help of specialists from abroad, Kyiv is collecting evidence to prove that Russia has committed war crimes on the territory of Ukraine and that it is a terrorist state. A number of international mechanisms have been launched to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The UN has also called on Russia to cease fire, not to attack civilians and non-military infrastructure . In November 2022, the General Assembly voted a resolution in favor of creating a compensation mechanism for the destruction caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .
Despite all this, Russian propaganda continues to present Moscow's act of aggression as a necessary step to defend itself against NATO, the EU and the West. The statement made by the Russian deputy is a threat to the West, a way of putting psychological pressure in order to block the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Ukrainian specialists have drawn the attention of European readers to the fact that Moscow relies on a series of “sounding boxes” that amplify the messages of Putin, Lavrov and Medvedev, with the aim of sowing fear in the West and leaving Ukraine without support.
The purpose of this narrative is to prepare Russian society for the continuation of hostilities in Ukraine by expanding the “theatre of war”, but also to influence Western capitals and have them stop supporting Kyiv with weapons.
Veridica has debunked a series of false narratives with the same political purpose. According to the Russian propaganda, the US has been arming Ukraine since 2014 , in order to push it into war against Russia. The Russian state press has also written that Moscow shows restraint when bombing Ukraine, because it knows that the population does not support the Neo-Nazi government. In order to convince the public opinion of the need for mobilization in Russia, the Russian press wrote that Minsk and Moscow are forming a joint military group to defend themselves against Ukrainian terror attacks and potential NATO aggression . Soon after the invasion of Ukraine, the pro-Kremlin media started accusing Ukraine for wanting to join NATO in order to attack Russia.