By EUvsDisinfo

The hard, painful, pointy end of oncoming consequences has hit the Kremlin. Their foot soldiers got caught red-handed in Germany and Poland, and international aid for Ukraine flows again.

The recent approval of tens of billions of dollars in more aid for Ukraine by the US House of Representatives triggered knee-jerk reactions within the pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem.

Like with earlier reactions to international aid for Ukraine, Russian propagandists met this US financial commitment with a dual narrative of criticism and dismissal. It well reflects ongoing pro-Kremlin efforts to distort public perception of Western support to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, European security services remain vigilant against covert threats emanating from Russia, with recent counter-intelligence operations uncovering suspected Russian espionage and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising support for Ukraine.

Make it rain

The US House of Representatives’ recent decision to approve $61 billion worth of foreign aid for Ukraine received, not surprisingly, a lot of flak in the pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem.

In addition to the empty nuclear mouthing and some casual Kremlin Nazi talk, Russian propagandists both immediately decried the decision as a US attempt to escalate the war at the expense of Ukrainians, and simultaneously dismissed it as insignificant and unable to affect the course of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Deny, distract, and point fingers

This duality of disinformation messaging shows a clear attempt to, firstly, portray Ukraine and the West, particularly the US, as warmongers in the eyes of international audiences. Secondly, when targeting Russian domestic audiences, these narratives attempt to downplay the impact of US military aid to Ukraine. The Kremlin pushed these claims to try to maintain morale in preparation for mobilising more Russians for its futile war.

Lastly, Russian propaganda tries hard to drive a wedge between the Ukrainian people and their supporters. The Kremlin’s disinformation agents are pushing false narratives claiming that Ukrainians are only expandable pawns in the hands of their Western supporters. Besides being blatant lies, such claims also try to deny any real agency for Ukrainians defending their country.

Spy vs. Spy

In past weeks, security services in several European countries have been busy busting Russian spies hatching plans to conduct sabotage operations and an assassination on the soil of Member States.

Most recently, German authorities arrested two German-Russian individuals on suspicion of spying for Russia. According to news reports, not only did the two collect intelligence for their Russian handlers, but they were also scouting targets for sabotage operations. Their apparent aim was to undermine military support for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, with the help of Ukrainian security services, Polish authorities arrested an individual in Poland. In addition to collecting information for Russian operatives, the Polish man was involved in an alleged assassination plot against Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

A knee-jerk reaction

Russia’s response in the information domain to the red-handed apprehension of their ‘foot soldiers’ has been as expected. It has followed their cycle of lies, where after trying to deny the facts they resort to attacks and attempts to divert attention.

In the German case, Russian authorities provided us with a textbook example. The Russian embassy in Berlin released a statement that blatantly blamed German authorities for a ‘provocation’ and then tried to divert attention to an unrelated case of an intercepted and leaked conversation between German officers.

Also blinking on our disinformation radar this week:

By EUvsDisinfo