Russia’s disinformation campaign “Maidan-3” to destabilize Ukraine

Russia’s intensified propaganda campaign against Ukraine represents a strategic effort to destabilize the country from within and weaken its international support. 

Recent Russian disinformation campaigns, such as “Maidan-3,” aim to undermine the legitimacy of the Ukrainian government and disrupt the nation’s efforts in a military recruitment campaign.

Utilizing platforms like TikTok and Telegram, pro-Russian news outlets spread narratives questioning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s legitimacy and inciting protests. 

Russia’s objectives and potential impact

The campaign surrounding calls for “Maidan-3” leverages historical and current social-political contexts to its advantage. By drawing parallels to previous Ukrainian revolutions (2004’s Orange Revolution and 2013–2014’s Euromaidan), Kremlin propaganda aims to evoke memories of past upheavals and provoke an inevitable recurrence.

Targeting sensitive issues like the inability to hold elections during wartime and framing Zelensky as overstepping his term limits strengthens this narrative and incites a protest mood among Ukrainians.

By promoting the idea of Zelensky’s “illegitimacy,” Russia hopes to incite public unrest and protests in regard to Ukraine’s mobilization efforts, particularly around significant dates such as the anniversary of Zelensky’s inauguration. 

The use of social media platforms like TikTok and Telegram is particularly effective for spreading propaganda quickly and anonymously. These platforms allow for the rapid dissemination of content, often without any fact-checking or accountability. 

Why do Russian media networks claim that Zelensky is illegitimate?

Earlier, CNN reported citing its sources in US intelligence, that Russia is stepping up its disinformation campaign against Volodymyr Zelensky. According to analysts, the pro-Kremlin media and the Russian state propaganda media are spreading fakes that focus on this topic.

The Russian media and pro-Russian news sites in Europe have begun to spread the narrative that President Zelensky will not be legitimate after May 21, when the presidential election is supposed to take place. However, the vote will not take place due to martial law.

The purpose of such claims is to undermine the credibility of the Ukrainian government and divert attention from Putin’s claims of illegitimacy. In a resolution, the European Parliament recognized the Russian presidential election in March as undemocratic and illegitimate.

Western media analysis and debunking

The Economist warned that Russian propagandists would seize on the opportunity to declare Zelensky illegitimate, despite ignoring similar issues with Putin’s re-election.

The BBC noted that despite a decline in his approval ratings, Zelenskyy maintains significant public support due to his leadership during the war. Analysts cited by the BBC stated that Ukrainians prioritize winning the war over holding elections, thus not questioning Zelensky’s legitimacy. 

Frankfurter Rundschau emphasized that Zelensky remains the legitimate head of state despite the end of his official term. 

Reuters included a comment from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who questioned Zelensky’s political legitimacy. The Times of India picked up on this comment, demonstrating the reach of Russian disinformation. By spreading such narratives, Russia aims to influence international perceptions and undermine support for Ukraine.

Al Mayadeen, a Lebanese media outlet representing Hezbollah’s interests, echoed Kremlin narratives by stating that Russia would not recognize any peace agreements with Ukraine due to Zelensky’s alleged illegitimacy.

This stance highlights how Russia’s disinformation campaign aligns with the agendas of its geopolitical allies to isolate and delegitimize Ukraine on the international stage.

Both the Ukrainian and prominent international media counter these narratives with accurate information and highlight the legitimacy of Ukraine’s government.

The resilience of Ukrainian society and the continued support from the international community might be key to countering these destabilization efforts and ensuring a stable and secure future for Ukraine.

Read all articles by Insight News Media on Google News, subscribe and follow.
Scroll to Top