- China launched a new propaganda campaign targeting the Russian populous.
- There are going to be changes in the Russian foreign policy in the next few months.
- Many oligarchs and Russian politicians are angry with China.
China launched a new propaganda campaign over the weekend. The campaign is timed with the start of the Russian holidays associated with May 1st celebrations. In 1918, a year after the Russian Revolution, May 1 became an important public holiday, known as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers in the Soviet Union. Most Soviet cities had parades and obligatory workers’ marches on this day until 1990.
The Russian Parliament renamed the holiday as Spring and Labor Day in 1992. This is the start of Russian holidays that last until May 11th. However, this year due to the coronavirus, Russians are celebrating in quarantine, hence at home. There is no parade. The big parade for the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II is postponed as well. The amendment to the Russian constitution proposed by Putin earlier this year is postponed or the Kremlin will just have it approved without a vote. That is the plausible scenario in Russia. The proposed amendment verbatim is available here.
The reason this date was picked by China to launch the propaganda campaign targeting Russians is that the holidays is associated with communism. China is fully a communist nation.
Second, a majority of people are using the Internet and social media to pass the time during quarantine. Additionally, China is starting to have doubts about their alliance with Russia. One of the Russian oligarchs Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin posted on social media on April 27, demanding China be investigated, not just for the coronavirus, but also for their failure to be compliant with the signed agreements pertaining to the environment.
Deripaska demanded that China be held accountable. That could signal that the Kremlin might not be so close to China and slowly wanting to part ways. It is a déjà vu scenario for Russia, since China tried to cast blame on the Soviet Union in 1977 during another global outbreak. They are using the same tactics now, only this time attempting to falsely blame the US for the virus creation and spread.
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The newly launched Chinese propaganda campaign is based on trying to put fear into the Russian populous. The targeted audience is being told that the US will deal with Russia once it deals with China; that if China falls economically on the world arena, automatically Russia is next.
Chinese fear is also based on the many high ranking Russian officials being angry about what coronavirus is doing to the Russian economy. It is clear that coronavirus indeed leaked from the lab in Wuhan. The confirmation was made by a French Nobel Prize winner, who is also a virologist, about the virus being man made in China. An Indian Lab confirmed the same earlier, but was forced under political pressure to abandon the findings.
Over the weekend, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a statement that there is evidence the coronavirus came from the Chinese lab in Wuhan. Surely, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not pleased, including that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin tested positive for COVID-19. This is interfering with Putin’s imperial appetite and the livelihood of the Russian populous in general.
There are already discussions in Russia of a foreign policy and media change. Currently, there is a noticeable rise in anti-Chinese segment on Russian social media. Also, certain shows that have been previously scheduled with a positive view of China are now cancelled.
The propaganda has both a fear component and a social engineering portion to push China’s grandiosity. It has elements of false claims and a desperation about losing Russia, but is it too late?
Russia should dump China, as China is only in it for China. It is time to stop China, who is a threat to the environment and security, undercutting Western workers, and the list goes on.
it is clear that the Kremlin might be ready to end their relationship and alliance with China. What it will mean for BRICS and the global geopolitical balance remains to be seen.