- Russia supporting Iran on Social Media
- The posts include calling USA terrorists
- It is plausible Kremlin supports pro Iranian social engineering propaganda
The US and Iran are embroiled in a recent escalated conflict, ever since the death of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. He was killed in a drone strike at the Baghdad Airport. Iran retaliated by striking US bases in Iraq. There is talk in the Russian media of Russia supplying C-400 weapon systems to Iraq. The information came from a member of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The S-400 Triumf, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007.
Russian VK has a page of the Iranian Military Portal, which is a Russian popular equivalent of Facebook. VK is a Russian online social media and social networking service based in Saint Petersburg. VK is available in numerous languages, but it is predominantly used by Russian-speakers. The portal was created in 2006 and has over 500 million users.
The posts as of late, call the US military “terrorists” and rejoiced at the killing and injuring of the US soldiers in the attacks by Iran on US bases in Iraq (US military officials say no one was injured in the Iranian attacks).
This is concerning, given the fact that Russian social media is fully controlled by the Russian government. Every single user and page creator has to provide cell phone and personal passport information. Anonymity is not allowed in Russia period.
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The latest post on the page praises a tweet by Mohammad Javad Zarif, an Iranian career diplomat and academic. He has been foreign minister of Iran since 2013.
One of the posts also states that if the US hits Iran in any strikes, it will be the end of Israel. The portal accuses Israel of being a conspirator in the death of General Soulemani.
It also has posts that state: “All Americans are raised, and their bones are fragmented.” These types of slogans are supported by Russian nationals. Since members have to be verified in Russia to join any social media or have an account, it is plausible to conclude that Russia condones anti-US rhetoric and welcomes such propaganda against the US.
Additionally, Hezbollah music is available and it is anti-American in tone compounded with calling out non-believers. Hezbollah (also transliterated Hizbullah, Hizballah, etc.) is a Shia Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s paramilitary wing is the Jihad Council, and its political wing is Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc party in the Lebanese parliament.
One could conclude the Kremlin is supporting Iran and conducive with anti-American rhetoric to propagate support by Russian citizens. The social engineering propaganda is gaining traction.
Overall, Russian social media and message boards show undivided support for Iran. Since the Russian government monitors internet sites, they must believe this rhetoric is in their interest. If a message resonates, Russia will do anything to gain geopolitical advantage in the Middle East, by any means necessary. They will not support the US. The portal in VK is an indication of such. Russian President Vladimir Putin is dangerous and a threat to the West.