Jakub Kalenský is some Czech guy, who works for the Atlantic Council, and he says it is harder to blame Russia for troubles in the West…
Whenever there is a polarizing incident in the Western world, the Kremlin-controlled media, and their proxies and trolls, will immediately try to utilize its strategic potential – sowing discord and confusion, amplifying divisions and quarrels, and creating mistrust of reputable sources of information.
The information operation surrounding the Yellow Vests movement was no different. Russian accounts sought to amplify the street protests and the sudden rise of activity even led French secret services to start an investigation of these operations. Apart from spreading confusion and exacerbating divisions, pro-Kremlin outlets also spread multiple disinformation stories about the origin and goals of the movement and the reaction of French authorities.
Such operations regularly appear following every event that creates strong emotions on both sides of the barricade. As was the case when Russia’s media reported about the referendum in Catalonia, the Kremlin-controlled troll factory attempted to polarize the debate, notably the issue of racial and minority rights in the United States, and when Moscow amplifies stories or invents outright false narratives about the divisive issue of the migration crisis in Europe.
However, calling out this subtle kind of aggression and warning audiences about its effect becomes increasingly difficult thanks to a response consistently repeated after such incidents: that the Russians did not create the weaknesses in our system and they cannot be blamed for our own problems. Unsurprisingly, the Kremlin and its channels are always quick to exploit such remarks.
Allegations of Russian involvement are made in order to tarnish and silence the opposition to the neo-liberal order. We have seen it in the case of the Brexit vote, in the case of Trump’s election, and in the case of the Yellow West protest among others.
It is rather cute to see the Westerners moaning about the Russian controlled media, when they have one huge propaganda machine aimed at Russia. Russia’s RT, Sputnik, and the alleged pro-Russian local websites in Europe are laughable in comparison to the cohort of media, and payed journalists and activists that work to influence Russia.
The Russians have not invited hordes of third-worlders into Europe and North America. The Russians haven’t caused the discontent which brought about Brexit and Trump. The fact that RT or Sputnik became the go to media of the disaffected only shows that the Western media have utterly failed the people.