social media account “Common SWR” It was created in 2020 and since the beginning of its existence it has impressed the recipients with the information it has provided. Further piques the interest of the public as the hosts of the profile claim to be themselves Former employees of the Russian services. They say that they are not giving their exact data for security reasons, although they continue to say that they have full faith in their informants, who have never abandoned them.
The profile became particularly loud in the Western media when the alleged “General SWR” broke the news Vladimir Putin He allegedly tripped on the stairs and defecated involuntarily. The absurdity of the information combined with the credibility of their statements resulted in health comments and derisive statements. Kremlin leaders.
One of the last news on the account was the news of the Russian president’s heart attack and death at the end of October – and the person who appears in the media as him, according to the informants, is one of many. identical Dictator. The website went into great detail about the time Putin fell in his bedroom, the moment security sounded, what kind of help he received and what condition he was in.
Russian disinformation. Experts warn
Although no one has officially admitted to running the account, his statements are largely corroborated Valery Solovy – Russian political scientist, known for spreading conspiracy theories. However, the scientist himself denied being behind “SWR General” in an interview with Insider. According to Independent Channel Medusa Ukrainian lawyer Viktor Yermolev may run the profile, but he doesn’t admit it either.
In an interview to AP agency he also cautioned against trusting the information provided by “General SWR” website. Scott Radnitz, a Russian affairs expert at the University of Washington. According to him, the message published on the channel has a “mocking and dismissive attitude towards the Kremlin”, which “attracts English-speaking viewers.”
Fake News and Alternative Truth
It also sends warning signals Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation (CPD). According to the government agency, one of the reasons for the spread of false information about Putin’s health may be related to the upcoming presidential election in Russia. Head of the Centre Andriy Shapovalov* Repeated news of the Kremlin leader’s death was intended to convince, he said during workshops for Polish journalists. Russians to the shallowness of any statement about him. This makes citizens less likely to trust the government’s official line and to believe reports about the leader’s health from other sources, even if they are true. It was intended to distract the Russians.
ShapovalovA former journalist and TV director in Luhansk spoke at a meeting about how it was built in Poland Disinformation system in Russia.
– It’s kind of a thing Alternate reality, which is maintained by many tens of thousands of people – he says. – The Russians have taken disinformation to another level. Fake news and misinformation are like light effects called rabbits. You can hold this place, but in a moment it will appear somewhere else – the expert said.
Andriy Shapovalov agreed when fighting fake news on company-owned social networking sites Meta (Facebook, Instagram) This topic makes more sense as the giant cooperates, but it is completely different in the case of Tiktok. Chinese website is an unknown area.
Shapovalov said that after 40 minutes on TikTok, you will see a video about the war from Russia’s perspective.
“Russians increasingly fear failure”
According to the Ukrainian Center, the purpose of spreading false news about Putin’s death could be a large-scale disinformation campaign aimed at Kiev’s allies. If the West believes in the doctrines of “General SVR”, the Kremlin leader may decide that he is in a bad position, and therefore the current power of Russia will soon begin to seriously shake, and therefore more serious assistance to the conflict in Ukraine is pointless.
– The more, the better Russians They fear failure. The more information about Putin’s death, the greater the belief in his immortality, says Shapovalov, who calls the Kremlin leader a legend during his lifetime.
The CPD also claims that sometimes information about Putin’s death is released under the control of the Russian leader – a way to find out who in the Kremlin wants to remove the dictator from the highest levels of power. “Rumors that Putin is actively cleaning up his old and building a new, powerful group seem plausible,” the center’s report said.
Fighting fake news. The West and Kiev should have no illusions
Regardless of whether the Kremlin leader’s health is good or bad, the Ukrainian team has no doubts that Kiev and the West should have no illusions that any change of power in Russia will mean an immediate end to the war and change. Moscow’s direction of foreign and economic policy.
“Even if the opposition comes to power in the Kremlin, the transition of the country to a democratic system may be delayed. And if the Kremlin’s leadership is taken by supporters of the old, aggressive trend, the continuation of the war will become a guarantee of their stay in power,” the CPD asserts and points out that there is only a positive outcome for Ukraine and its eventual destruction. Totalitarian system in Russia Only a successful outcome on the battlefield in favor of Kiev could be brought about. “Until then, Russia remains our mortal threat,” the center’s statement concludes.
*Andriy Shapovalov was one of the speakers at a US State Department-sponsored workshop on identifying and preventing propaganda and fake news, organized by reporter Bianka Zalewska.
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