One of the most common narratives of propaganda is “Nazism and fascism in Ukraine.” The Russian Federation promoted it in the information space actively:
– to justify military aggression against Ukraine;
– to discredit the Ukrainian national liberation movements (historical and modern) and volunteer battalions;
– to hinder the supply of weapons and international military cooperation of Ukraine.
The Centre for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported it.
Disinformation messages are spread both through popular Internet sites with a high level of traffic (official Russian and foreign) and mass links to them through social networks.
Reports of “the existence of a number of neo-Nazi battalions in Ukraine tolerated by the state authorities”, for example, Azov, along with its civilian wing, and the Misanthropic Division, were among the most widely circulated “news” about Ukraine in the context of accusations of Nazism.
The article “Azov Battalion” in the English Wikipedia serves as a striking example of the work of Russian propagandists. Russian moderators (due to their number) made every effort to write about “war crimes and torture committed by soldiers of the regiment” and similar accusations.
The mentioned themes are intertwined and layered on each other in the presentation of Russian propaganda.
Misinformation about “shelling of Donbas carried out by Ukraine”, “support for Ukrainian Nazis initiated by the United States, or the United Kingdom, or John McCain, or Joe Biden,” and so on, accompanies messages about “Nazi” volunteer battalions, discrediting Ukraine in Russian propaganda media. This message is being used by Russian media to turn Ukraine into an exile in international relations.