The cyber-attacks directed at US government resources are not a new phenomenon for Russia. The White House has repeatedly accused Russia of involvement in hacking computer networks of political parties of the United States, in particular, e-mails of Democratic Party leaders. Russia tries the strength of the global information network, from time to time terrorizing the key IT companies. The availability of information to the public is a very serious threat to the Kremlin's power. As the introduction of censorship on the Internet is a practically impossible task, options of various attacks on key elements of the network are considered.
The policy of state terrorism carried out by Russia has many manifestations. Aircraft bombings, terrorist attacks organized by Russia in different countries (including the terrorist attacks in France and Turkey) are aimed at intimidation of population, blackmail of governments of these countries and facilitation of the entrance to the political arena for Kremlin's agents of influence and politicians, who in one form or another propagate “peaceful coexistence with Russia”, “lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia” and the like “peace” ideas. The attacks are designed to help politicians who are essentially the mouthpiece of the Kremlin to come to power.
Thus, today's Russia is an aggressive, ideologically tyrannical, xenophobic and homophobic country. Putin, the Russian President, has always been an idol and a source of support for European far-right parties that were always openly and generously funded by Russia. And now his fans in conventional political parties hold important positions and rise to the top ranks in the opinion polls. It is quite realistic that soon own pro-putin elite will be formed in the West. The Kremlin propaganda does work. Unfortunately, the electorate does not realize the consequences for each of them that will be caused, in the nearest future, by the support of candidates lobbying for “friendship” and/or “compromise" with Russia.
A clear “sign of weakness” lies in the temptations of such alliances with Russia. As history shows, any attempts to appease the aggressor or to agree to a compromise, to ease sanctions against the aggressor country will guaranteedly result in the escalation of the current local wars and armed aggression of Russia against new countries. As a consequence, more blood will be spilled.
Nowadays, a new hybrid war does not start with a concentration of troops on the border, but with a generous financing of supporters of the aggressor in the occupied country, and with an infusion of cash into propaganda in favour of the aggressor country.
Prior to the military attack, the Russian FSB by means of propaganda, corruption, and bribery creates in the country which is the object of their aggression a considerable group of their covert and overt supporters, preferably at high positions in government and business.
Taking into account all above stated, it is easy now to understand and systematize the main features of the Kremlin propaganda. All of them meet a single criterion, namely: the propaganda is in favour of the aggressor country. There are 6 of them, let us list them.
- Propaganda, in any way directed at any division of people. For example, propaganda of ethnic discord, discord between people of different faiths, abusive comments against any nationality or open propaganda of fascism, including Russian fascism.
- Propaganda denying crimes of the “Russian world”. This includes, in particular: Denial of the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people; Denial of crimes of the NKVD, the KGB, the FSB; Justification of crimes committed by communist regimes and/or perversion of the truth about their activities; “White washing” of reputation of Stalinist criminals, excuse of repressions, terror, creation of the Gulag camps.
- Propaganda of various manifestations of the “Russian world”. Including such manifestations of the “Russian culture” as Russian chanson or songs of the criminal world. Movies produced in Russia propagating the lifestyle of gangster or close-to-gangster and thieves communities. Propaganda of “Russian weapons”. Blatant propaganda for annexation by Russia.
- Propaganda that includes a campaign for “peace with Russia”, “lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia”, or “a compromise with Russia”. Russia is extremely interested in easing or lifting of sanctions, as it would allow it to strengthen its aggression against Ukraine, using new types of weapons, and to prepare for the invasion of the Baltic states.
- Propaganda that is directly or covertly aimed at the preservation of territories occupied by Russia. Besides, under the pretense of “compromise”, a variant of “peaceful settlement”, “payment of indemnities under the condition of legitimization of the occupation”, “to temporarily postpone a final decision depending on the course of further events.” It is a dangerous form of propaganda. Especially in relation to the occupation of Crimea. It can lead to a dangerous precedent for the preservation by the occupant country of the occupied territory. The Kremlin propaganda will consider it as an agreement with occupation and will automatically target Russia to occupy territories of other countries. In this case, the Baltic countries.
- Propaganda funded by Russia and/or propaganda that uses Russian resources. The current Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, headed by Yuriy Stets, a close relative of the current President of Ukraine, is a striking example. This the so-called “Ministry of Truth” conducts open information policy in the interests of the aggressor country as it uses means and methods of propaganda shared with it, including media companies specializing on propaganda (with a staff of Internet trolls) from Russia. The ultimate goal of the Kremlin propaganda campaign is to keep in Ukraine the regime of internal occupation, the kleptocratic government of collaborators and traitors headed by Poroshenko.
We should note that specific proposals for settlement of the situation in Ukraine that differ from those advertised by Russian propaganda do exist for a long time.
It is quite possible to confront the Kremlin propaganda. But we should understand that it is not effective to confront a single propaganda as a phenomenon. In order to confront the Kremlin propaganda, we will have to confront the Kremlin policy. Moreover, it shall be done uncompromisingly.
I would like to emphasize that to counteract Russian propaganda is an effective remedy against international terrorism, as these two phenomena go hand-in-hand, pursuing the same goals and interacting with each other.
Europe shall be united around common values: democracy, freedom, and respect for the rule of law and the dignity of every human being, regardless of their origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions. Europe shall understand what is good and what is evil. Europe shall not, under any circumstances, enter into “the Russian twilight zone”, allowing any compromise in any agreements with the Kremlin. It shall not allow a policy of double standards. Coming to the negotiating table with Russia, we should remember the words of Otto von Bismarck: “Do not expect that once taking advantage of Russia's weakness, you will receive dividends forever. Russians always come for their money. And when they come - do not rely on the Jesuit agreements you signed, which are supposed to justify you. They are not worth the paper they are written on.” “Never believe Russians, because Russians do not trust even to themselves.”
Bringing the troops in the Crimea, Russia has violated the following international treaties including the UN and the OSCE agreements:
- 1) The Charter of the United Nations (resolution 3314 (xxix) of the General Assembly;
- 2) The Helsinki Final Act of 1975;
- 3) The Belavezha Accords. The agreement that declared the Soviet Union effectively dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. December 8, 1991.
- 4) The Agreement with Ukraine on Military Deployment, 1997;
- 5) The Budapest Memorandum, 1994;
- 6) The Charter of Paris of 1990;
- 7) The Lisbon Document 1996;
- 8) The Charter for European Security - the Obligation on the Istanbul Summit of 1999;
- 9) Astana Declaration of 2010, adopted at the OSCE Summit in Astana;
- 10) The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine 1997 (prolonged for 25 years on April 21, 2014, by the State Duma of the Russian Federation and signed by the President of the Russian Federation).
In opposition to Russian policy, we should think not about today, but about tomorrow. This is the policy, i.e. a strategic plan, looking to the future. Any concessions to Russia today, tomorrow will turn into the presentation of claims to international community concerning the new “traditional zone of Russian interests.”