By EUvsDisinfo

A play to serve one man’s hubris was carefully orchestrated within the walls of the Kremlin. The re-crowned czar, devoid of greatness despite propagandists’ best efforts, continues his regime forged in death and destruction.

As Putin embarks on his fifth term, enabled by fraudulent elections and manipulation of the constitution, the pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem is carefully constructing a narrative. In addition to power, the big lie the Kremlin manipulators are crafting is about invincibility, divine sanction, and historical destiny.

The glittering halls of the Kremlin and the militaristic pomp of Red Square hide and silence the grief of countless families that have lost their loved ones in a futile war of the Kremlin’s making. Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s hollow rhetoric of dialogue and peace is engineered to deceive and confuse those uninitiated in Kremlin tactics.

An illegitimate heir

Putin’s inaugural address marking the beginning of his regime’s fifth term was, not surprisingly, a collection of manipulations and outright lies. As we know, his fifth term was only possible because of ‘the most fraudulent elections in modern Russian history’ and an earlier amendment to Russia’s constitution following a vote considered rigged.

In his address, Putin circulated tired disinformation tropes, where he attempted to portray Russia as an actor on the world stage oriented towards dialogue and international stability. This is another good example of Kremlin Newspeak, which conveniently forgets to mention that the Kremlin just wants to solidify any gains that they have made so far as part of their imperial agenda.

Vague promises of dialogue aim to manipulate audiences primed to be receptive to fears of escalation and widening war. Hollow threats and dishonest talk about peace and dialogue aim at taking our focus away from the most important task at hand – supporting Ukraine in its rightful self-defence effort and regaining full control of its sovereign territory.

Those to remember and those to forget

Today, 9 May, marks another annual display of Russian militarism laid bare in Red Square. Originally commemorating the USSR’s role as a victor in WWII and contributing to the toxic myth of the ‘Great Patriotic War’, the parades have shifted to serve as platforms for justifying Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine.

As we wrote before, the ‘Immortal Regiment’ marches, intended for families to honour WWII veterans by displaying photos of their loved ones, have been cancelled in major Russian cities, officially due to ‘unspecified security reasons’. The real motive may be the Kremlin’s reluctance to highlight the large number of recent Russian casualties in Ukraine, estimated by some sources to be as high as 500,000, including 150,000 dead. The likely reason for this concealment is fear of possible domestic reactions.

The 9 May celebrations in Moscow offer us a window into a militarised Russian society indoctrinated into blind loyalty to Putin. Only a limited number of world leaders are expected to attend, reflecting Russia’s growing isolation on the global stage.

Devoid of greatness

The Russian disinformation ecosystem attempts to cultivate a cult-like following for Putin, representing him as an infallible leader divinely sanctioned for his role by God Almighty. In reality, the years of Putin’s regime have brought ordinary Russians nothing but increased oppression, lost or wounded loved ones, and instead of greatness and national pride, the isolation of an international pariah. Vladimir ‘the Great’ increasingly appears as a mere man on a destructive quest for a pedestal.

Also blinking on EUvsDisinfo’s disinformation radar this week:

By EUvsDisinfo