Russia invaded Ukraine, seized territories in violation of international law, and bombed residential buildings and energy infrastructure. Almost none of known Western public figures with past pro-Russian statements dared to support the Kremlin directly.
Pro-Russian speakers switched to new narratives
Those who admired Putin and backed the annexation of Crimea before the all-out war, now sneakily switched to new narratives beneficial to Moscow. Thus, they now criticize weapons supply to Ukraine and call for talks with Putin.
The main target of pro-Kremlin narratives is to leave Ukraine less protected, and to let Russia consolidate control over the newly-captured Ukrainian territories. As it was directed, these narratives were voiced in various European states.
Who voiced theses against weapons supply to Ukraine?
In France, the proponents of such theses were Marine Le Pen, Eric Zemmour, Thierry Mariani, Florian Philippot, and Jean-Luc Melenchon.
In Italy, this rhetoric was promoted by Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi, Lorenzo Fontana, and Alessandro Orsini.
In Germany, these calls were backed by Sahra Wagenknecht, Maximilian Krah, and Alice Schwarzer.
In the UK, the movement “Stop the War Coalition” has been campaigning against weapons supply to Ukraine. This list is far from being exhaustive.
Why anti-weapon narrative plays in the hands of Moscow?
These statements play in the hands of Moscow. Stopping the weapons supply to Ukraine will not stop the war. There is only one solution to stop the war – Russian troops must leave the Ukrainian lands and stop missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.
Without Western weapons, Ukraine would be less protected and more vulnerable, and that’s Russia’s target.
It is the very Western weapons that keep Russia from grabbing more Ukrainian territory. Russian occupation of Ukrainian towns resulted in mass terror that is well documented: mass arrests, torture, rape, looting, capturing elected officials, deportation of children.
War can be stoped when Russian troops leave Ukrainian territory
Very often these voices fail to admit that Putin’s regime is responsible for the war he decided to start. They don’t demand the Russian military to leave Ukraine either.
Facing setbacks at war, Russia has intensified its propaganda efforts over the last couple of months. This rhetoric plays along with Russian propaganda and aims at not only weakening Ukraine but also undermining Europe’s unity.