Appeal to Google, Facebook & Co: Navalny calls for an “advertising campaign” against propaganda

Use Google, Facebook & Co
Navalny calls for an “advertising campaign” against propaganda

The Russian war in Ukraine is also an information war: President Putin’s government is cracking down on independent media and public criticism. The Navalny opposition now targets US internet giants and Western governments – with ads they should fight propaganda.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has called on Western governments and US internet companies to open an “information front” in Russia. In a message to many top Western politicians and Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, Navalny wrote on Twitter that they should “crush Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda” “using social media advertising opportunities “. He repeated, “We need publicity, lots of publicity.”

“The combination of truly insane propaganda on all channels 24/7, shutting down and blocking independent media outlets and websites is starting to have an effect,” he wrote. “The fact is that the majority of Russian citizens have a completely distorted idea of ​​what is happening in Ukraine.”

However, Navalny dismissed polls showing that support for Putin had recently increased as “lies”. Russia “closed and blocked all independent media, including the most cautious ones, in just a month and a half”. Navalny asked: “Would it have been necessary if the war with Ukraine really had such support?” A survey at the end of March showed that around 80% of the Russian population supported Putin and the war in Ukraine.

Appeal to Biden and Johnson

Navalny wrote that most Russian citizens do not know exactly what is happening in Ukraine. In his eyes, Putin is waging a “very successful little war with very little bloodshed”. Their own soldiers are revered as heroes and the blame for the civilian casualties of war is shifted to “ruthless Nazis and the West”. A victory is needed to “prevent a Third World War,” Navalny wrote in reference to Kremlin propaganda.

The Kremlin itself describes the invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation”. The media are forbidden, under pain of sanction, to name the war as such. The Russian government justifies the invasion of Ukraine, among other things, by a “denazification” of the country. Twitter, Instagram and most independent media have been successively blocked by the authorities since February 24.

“Yes, it’s safe to say that many who believe in propaganda enjoy being deceived,” Navalny wrote. “They are unwilling to make even the most basic effort to hear an alternative opinion.” However, luck lies in the fact that the majority of Russians continue to use YouTube, Instagram, Whatsapp, Google or Facebook – despite being blocked. This is why Navalny offers an “advertising campaign” with advertisements in various Western online services. He recalls that the distribution of ordinary positions by individuals can also be sanctioned.

Kremlin spokesman calls on, among others, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to “crush” “Putin’s propaganda” through advertising on the networks social. Navalny is convinced of this: “Even if such publicity is bought at the high price of trade, its cost will be derisory compared to the price of this war.”

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