Pervasive and plague-like, spreading through a plethora of information platforms maintained and controlled by government agencies, Russian propaganda has become entrenched in the psyche of the world's global citizenry.
Recently, though long overdue, both concerned individuals and institutions of democracy are beginning to take steps to stanch the flow of information terrorism spewing from the bowels of the Kremlin’s factory of lies and falsehoods.
It has now become obvious to all that Russian media is simply another weapon in the arsenal of Putin’s hybrid invasion of Ukraine. It has been apparent to freedom-loving nations since early in Russia's illegal invasion that it no longer has any independent media, nor should it be treated as possessing such.
With this acceptance comes results.
At the European Union, the ninth round of sanctions by the economic block against the nation-turned-state sponsor of terror, and war criminals included a ban on four television stations from Russia being broadcast in Europe.
In light of this action, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture, Oleksandr Tkachenko, issued the following plea, “We see from the results of research by our colleagues in Europe that Russian narratives continue to spread. For this, there is not only an offline format, traditional for television, but also online platforms, OTT platforms. We will hardly do without international support and coordination from partners in the West."
Then Moldova acted unilaterally to ban six stations within their territory in an effort to “eliminate propaganda.”
Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița expounded on the decision. She equated it to the much-discussed energy war on Europe also being carried out by the gangster cabal ruling over Russia, “After almost 300 days of war in Ukraine, the propaganda in the Republic of Moldova has not stopped, in fact, it has intensified,” Gavrilita said, “In the situation where not only an energy war is being waged against our country, but also an information war, we have the responsibility and even the obligation to protect our citizens and the country.”
While Russian apologists will scurry to make excuses and obfuscate the truth behind hollowed claims of free speech and freedom of the press, those arguments invariably fall short. These howls of protests are familiar to anyone who paid attention during investigations into Russian electoral interference before, during, and after the administration of Russian ally former US President Donald J. Trump.
In Russia itself, there is strict censorship and zero opportunity for open dialogue and debate, evidenced by their laws on foreign agents and imprisonment of Russian citizens for speaking their minds. It also plays out in the shuttering of any domestic outlets that the Moscow mafia deems a threat to the dictatorial regime.
Ultimately legitimate actions taken against the puppet army of Vladimir Putin have nothing to do with liberty and everything to do with state security. Democratic states are finally awakening to the threats sprouting from decades of cultivation by professional propagandists working on behalf of a fascist dictatorship.
Ukraine and its allies now fully recognize that the Russian media apparatus is part of the genocidal war against Ukrainian civilians and must be dealt with accordingly. As such, the implementation of these policies is not just for the defense of Ukraine but the defense of human rights everywhere throughout Europe and the world at large.
A variety of social media channels continue to act as incubators for whatever the next batch of Russian lies is. Guardians of the democratic process will need to forever be vigilant against new flareups emanating from state-sponsored propagators of Russian information terrorism. But there are ways to combat information warfare. Lawmakers and thought leaders from North America and Europe, as well as officials in Ukraine, are identifying the malicious actors and instituting solutions based on their findings. Russia will soon run out of ways to spread its deceitful and corrosive messages, and the freedom-loving world will be better and safer for it.