As America and many of her allies around the world are anticipating the results of Presidential election 2020, Russian state-controlled media is anticipating the violence in their aftermath. “Radically divided American society awaits civil war”, a host of a political talk show on state-run Rossiya 24 TV channel claimed a few days prior to the election, warning that the new civil war was going to be “total”.
While several international media outlets have also reported concerns about potential civil unrest following the elections in the US, the pro-Kremlin media took this to whole new level.
For example, the above-mentioned talk show also alleged that the Americans were now wishing death upon their own country. Such apocalyptic messages are not new.
Independent researchers warn that disinformation actors try to spread anger or fear any way they can. We saw similar narratives following the racial justice protests in the US earlier this year.
For Russian state-controlled TV, this was another opportunity to convince its domestic audiences that democracy leads to chaos, and therefore should not be attempted at home.The pro-Kremlin media also stayed true to another of its prominent disinformation narratives alleging that popular protests are never genuine, always orchestrated.
The tropes of orchestrated protests, violence and chaos define how pro-Kremlin media portray democratic processes around the world. Elections bring destruction, democratic leaders are puppets (or so the pro-Kremlin disinformation tries to convey), except, of course, for the only place in the world where “voting” is always fair.