Republican public figures are taking heat for criticizing NATO’s Russia diplomacy. They believe that President Biden and NATO leaders could have avoided the current Ukraine-Russia conflict escalations and that they provoked the situation through debating Ukraine’s membership in the NATO alliance, a membership that Russia considers a direct threat to its national security.
Meanwhile, the Russian people themselves are reluctant for the war to commence, according to Russian society experts. Russian society expert and journalist Kseniya Kirillova explains that the Russian public has been under extreme propaganda messaging in the lead up to the war.
“All this time, the Russians were under the most severe information pressure of propaganda. Its result is best shown in the January opinion polls: despite the active propaganda of militarism, Russians are afraid of war, but they are sure that the U.S. and NATO are dragging them into the war,” Kirillova told American Pigeon.
“The majority of the Russian population believes that Russia is protecting itself from the ‘threat’ from Ukraine and NATO,” she explains. In recent public comments, Kirillova also noted that the Kremlin has prepared statements on events in Donbas in advance. Russian propagandists also position the Kremlin’s incursion around the idea that it is a “war to throw off the Western yoke,” see Kirillova’s statements on The Jamestown Foundation.
“Unlike in 2014, there is clearly no demand for war in society, now the overwhelming state of the population is fear. However, many Russians will try to convince themselves that Putin had no other choice, and they will try to regain their lost psychological comfort through infantile trust in him,” she added.
Liberal media is criticizing right-wing outlets for “echoing Kremlin talking points,” notably Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Carlson focused on the “outsized obsession on the American political left with Putin,” according to Insider. The clip was then used by Russian state broadcast RT with Russian subtitles.
Carlson also called Ukraine a “colony with a puppet regime…essentially managed by the State Department,” referring to the United States, while also focusing on the corrupt ties between Biden and Ukraine, which has mostly been dismissed as untrue, without investigation, by liberal media.
“The main thing to know about Ukraine, for our purposes, is that its leaders once sent millions of dollars to Joe Biden’s family. Not surprisingly, Ukraine is now one of Joe Biden’s favorite countries. Biden pledges to defend Ukraine’s borders even as he opens our borders to the world…Invading America is called equity, invading Ukraine is called a war crime.”
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Carlson then moved his criticism toward Russia and cautioned the responding action of the U.S. “He is to blame for what we’re seeing tonight…Again, what Russia has done is awful, but we can make it worse.”
Early in his segment, Carlson stated that “Now that shooting has started in Ukraine, it’s entirely possible, no matter what they tell you, that Americans could wind up getting hurt. Preventing that will require wisdom, farsightedness and emotional control—all of which are in short supply in Washington, especially now.”
Carlson then played a clip of Democratic Senator Mark Warner explaining the danger of Russia triggering Article 5 of the NATO alliance, saying that if Russia were to launch a cyber attack on Ukraine that affected neighboring NATO countries, they and the United States would be obligated to declare war on Russia.
“That’s the first goal,” Carlson said. “Not making a terrible thing, much much worse.”
“That hypothetical that [the senator] outlined could happen, and any cyber attack on Ukraine could well affect the infrastructure of Eastern European countries…That would be a crime, the civilized world would deplore it. But Article 5 is not a mechanical mechanism. Human beings have to decide to invoke it. And the question is, is what the senator just described something that is worth risking a nuclear conflict over. And that is something we should pause very deeply to think about in the most sober possible way, and we hope that our leaders are. But not all of them seem sober…some of them seem reckless and, as usual, ignorant.”
Carlson then went on to criticize Republican Senator Adam Kissinger’s response to the Russian invasion.
Jacob Yusufov contributed to this report.