History and Actual Open Sores are the Targets of Propaganda

Propagandistic attacks are kind of reality in Lithuania (and even more widely – in the region). Their detection and analysis sometimes remind of monotonous activities. On the other hand, the daily round of the mentioned chall…

Propagandistic attacks are kind of reality in Lithuania (and even more widely – in the region). Their detection and analysis sometimes remind of monotonous activities. On the other hand, the daily round of the mentioned challenge does not reduce its significance and risk. Tracing of such propagandistic attacks and their “pushed” narratives is important first of all for understanding what the focus of the Kremlin’s propaganda is and in what way it is seeking its effects.
Molotov and Ribbentrop are haunting
It is no secret that in many cases disputes about history become the field of propagandistic fights. The Kremlin quite actively adapts the interpretation of Soviet history and bring back the already forgotten narratives to the relevant agenda – even those that at a certain time had been denounced as false.    
At the end of August of the current year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia organized a total propagandistic campaign dedicated to commemoration of the 80 anniversary of signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This historical event played a tragic role in the history of our region and actually opened the way to the rise of the World War II and occupation of the Baltic States.     
Recollections about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact are very unfavourable to Moscow. The truth about this historical event jeopardise historical narratives loved by the Kremlin. It is not easy to position the Soviet Union of that time as ‘saviour of Europe’ and ’liberator from the brown plague’ when you know the fact that in 1939 Moscow and Berlin were good friends and the USSR itself  started the war on 17 September 1939 by hitting in the back to Poland that was fighting against Nazis.   
The Kremlin propaganda tried to stifle the discourse of 80 years old events with a new series of old-new propagandistic type of narratives. First, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia remembered that other countries had also signed a nonaggression pact with the Nazi Germany. Then it complained that Lithuania also had to be accused of disruption of Poland, because in 1939 Vilnius was given to it. Among the arguments remembered by Moscow there was a statement that by signing the nonaggression pact with Germany the Soviet Union was trying to win some time, etc. Among formulated narratives there were absurd attempts to cast the blame on… Poland regarding the beginning of the World War II (this corresponds to the position of the Soviet Union in autumn 1939).
Attempts of Moscow did not make big impression. Finally, although other countries actually signed pacts with the Nazi Germany, just the Soviet Union made secret agreements alongside the principle pact, based on which then actually Europe was divided.  
Accusation to Lithuania regarding Vilnius is not something new, either. The fact is that already in 1920 the soviet Russia in a peace agreement with Lithuania recognized the territorial integrity of the latter with Vilnius and Vilnius district as part of Lithuania, thus transfer of Vilnius in 1939 to Lithuania can be interpreted as compliance with the principles of the mentioned pact. We should not forget the fact that it was not hard to Moscow to transfer Vilnius to Lithuania, because at that time it already had plans to occupy the Baltic States.
The issue of Vilnius is remembered by the Kremlin propaganda not for the sake of some historical justice, but in order to provoke pressure and mistrust between Lithuania and Poland – the states that nowadays are in one geopolitical paradigm, i.e. the EU and NATO.   
While painful history is not settled
Modern Kremlin’s propaganda does not slowdown in formation of narratives for discretisation of the forces of allies in the territories of the Baltic States and Poland. Anyhow, Lithuania faces such attempts over and over. Here we can also remember some rather new narratives that were attempts to escalate them in a public spotlight.
In this context I should first mention a false piece of news about Jewish cemetery in Kaunas ‘ploughed’ by as if German tanks. It is not hard to disclose all symbolic paradigm of this story. We have obvious allusions to the World War II here (this historical event is actually the key point in majority of propagandistic historical narratives of the Kremlin). By this and similar narratives they try to prove that Lithuania is actually occupied by NATO and the forces of the alliance do whatever they want to do here. By the way, formation of this kind of narration by making a rhetoric separation and opposition of Lithuania and NATO is typical to propaganda of the Kremlin. This is also an obvious manipulation, since our country is the real member of the alliance and a constituent part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Probably the Jewish cemetery in the above-mentioned narrative appeared not by chance. Holocaust of Jews in the territory of Lithuania during World War II is kind of a hot topic even nowadays. It casts a shadow on the present, too. For instance, direct or indirect participation of some members of resistance in Holocaust has not been discussed and talked in full. Propaganda of the Kremlin that tries to make use of any discussion on this topic in a certain way encumbers clearing out all uncertainties and reaching its goals. Thus, we can say that in this case the information attack of Moscow is focused on the relevant open sore of the Lithuanian society. By stimulating it one can reach higher social pressure in the society of the country and its splitting.
An article ‘Swastika is not a rarity here’ published on 14 November by the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti can be an example of the attempts to speculate in this sore topic. Thousands of Jews in Lithuania talk about a threat. In the above-mentioned article Lithuania is accused of anti-Semitism and it says that it is not safe for Jews in Lithuania, etc.   
Nuclear dreams of the Kremlin
Talking about the things contemporary propaganda of the Kremlin is focused on we have to go back to discussion about the safety topic. The spectrum of narratives does not limit on just fantasies about ‘the cemetery ‘ploughed’ by German tanks’. A false notice is one of the most vivid propagandistic narratives of this period in this paradigm of narratives about the fact that Gitanas Nausėda, President of Lithuania, suggested dislocation of a nuclear weapon of the USA in Lithuania.   
It is not hard to notice that ‘nuclear fantasies’ currently are very typical to Moscow. Having no other arguments the Kremlin usually remembers its nuclear arsenal. The media controlled by the government of Russia also does not avoid the mentioned topic. A phrase told by Dmitry Kiseliov, a journalist of the Russian TV, has become widely known as one of the soldiers of propaganda front line told already in year 2014 that ‘Russia is the only state in the world that can turn the USA into radioactive ash”.     
It is understood that the narrative about ‘dislocation of the nuclear weapon in Lithuania’ first of all had to support one of the ordinary statements of Russian propaganda that the Baltic States have become the forepost of NATO directed against Russia. Escalation of this type of the narrative can also in some way legitimize potential legitimacy of the potential military attack to the Baltic States    population in the eyes of Russians (particularly just because they have been told a story for years that only fascists live in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia who oppress local Russian-speaking people).   
Propaganda as radioactive pollution
The given samples reveal just a part of attacks detected in the information war, which is constantly and widely carried out against Lithuania and other states of the region. It is not the first time that we write that the information war is our reality that you can get used to it willy-nilly.    
The greatest threat of the Kremlin propaganda is that Russia seeks formation of the virtual image of the world by its deliberate information steps. It is a paradox that the Kremlin propaganda first of all is dangerous to the Russian population who is attacked by the mentioned virtual image from all sides. In this case the corrupted image of the world is necessary for the Kremlin so it could control people of the country by way of manipulation and getting their support for various geopolitical gambles – starting with annexation of the Crimea and ending with implementation of Moscow interests in Syria. This fact in particular does not allow calling propaganda and its effects as the problem of Russia only in the light of the fact that propagandistic narratives today sound in the global information scene where it is not possible to draw a line between information scene of different states.     
Information war can also be compared with the same radiation, which spreads invisibly but pollutes everything around it. The Kremlin narratives also pollute everything – first of all, our information scene and the public sector.    
Viktor Denisenko  

Voras Online
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Autorius: Voras Online