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In August, Russia and other members the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) organization celebrate the Airborne Forces Day. In 2020, the celebration had a special scope, as the Airborne troops of Russia turned 90 years old. However, in social networks, in addition to publications with congratulations, there was a wide planned fake company aimed to discredit the Russian army, not only in front of Russian youth, but also abroad.
On the Airborne Forces Day, August 2, a Twitter user “Da eto ge Danakt” (“Yes, this is Danakt’) published a post in which he allegedly writes about serving in the army, stating that he has the rank of a Junior Sergeant in the Airborne forces.
The post represents a thread consisting of 30 messages that describe in detail the dreadful conditions of compulsory military service. In Russia, as in the CIS countries, military duty remains mandatory.
The post of “Danact” has gained great popularity and provoked an active discussion in the network. Many users, both real and apparently fake, began to actively discuss the need to preserve universal military duty in Russia.
A sharp increase in the account’s popularity is particularly suspicious. Throughout its existence, rare posts had a purely personal nature, did not represent any social position, and had an average of 10 to 20 likes. The first post on this account was made not so long ago, in January 2020, and then the account has only 80 followers.
Incredibly, the post of an unknown “Danakt”, in which he denounced the disorder in the Russian army, has a huge success, and in a few days it already has about 30,000 likes and 6.000 reposts. At the same time, despite numerous requests in the comments to continue writing about his military service experience, “Danakt” modestly replies that this was the only thread of this kind.
All of the above indicates that, this account may highly possibly be fake. A reposting scheme was clearly used to promote a post claiming that the Russian army is “legalized violence”.
Apparently, this post is an organized and promoted fake company aimed to cause a wave of discontent, primarily among Russian young users of the Twitter network.
However, the statement of “Danat” found particular popularity among overseas users. Such fake campaigns are conducted on a regular basis, and apparently not only ordinary users of the social network, but even the Western intelligentsia has lost the skill to distinguish obvious provocations from reliable information. For example, the post of “Danakt” was reposted and commented on by leading French experts engaged in research on Russia and the post-Soviet space.
For example, by Kevin Limonier, who is a lecturer in Slavic Studies at the French Institute of geopolitics:
Journalists from leading French editions such as Le Monde and Ouest France, who specialize in covering events in Russia, also commented on “Danakt’s” post on their personal pages.
Perhaps they realized that the post was fake and spread deliberately provocative information. However, it is more likely that the above-mentioned users were negligent, not even bothering to check the “Danakt’s” account. Such actions call into question the professional competence of Western researchers and journalists, in particular French ones. These persons are quite authoritative experts on Russia and post-Soviet space, despite the fact that their opinions are, in fact, easily influenced by the simplest fake companies.
Besides that the post of “Danakt” is likely to be a provocation, his judgments are unfounded. The army in any country is inherently legalized violence within a certain jurisdiction and in accordance with the laws of the country. The wording used by “Danakt” has a target audience of young people who, for example, did not manage to enter a higher educational institution and will have to perform military service. People with critical thinking should not be interested in such provocations. However, this is not the case.
Apparently, the Western hysteria about the alleged “Russian propaganda” has reached such a level that it no longer allows thinking critically. Thus, at a time when almost any information from official Russian sources is perceived by the West as deliberately false, as for example in the case of the official Russian statistics on the incidence of COVID-19, there is a favorable moment for all sorts of information infusions to destabilize the situation in Russia.
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