As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.
Zelensky is afraid of Maidan – 3
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement that there is operational data that the Kremlin is planning a conspiracy aimed at removing him from power “by the end” of the year served the Serbian pro-Russian media for the well-known Russian narrative about the events in Ukraine in 2014 and the Maidan as coup d’état, not the democratic revolution of the Ukrainian people.
As Zelensky stated, the new Russian plan has the code “Maidan 3”. As he said, the Russian services have already launched a major disinformation attack with the primary goal of destabilizing Ukraine. “Maidan is a coup d’état for them, so the operation is understandable,” Zelensky said, adding that the Ukrainian intelligence service had prevented at least five or six assassination attempts on him.
The Ukrainian president’s statement was presented by the pro-Russian media through at least two narratives. The first is the old one about Maidan being a coup d’état, and Zelenski’s statement only confirms that. The other refers to the fact that Zelensky does not have support in the country, adding that protests in Ukraine are also undesirable because of this.
Both narratives are present in the text of Politika. The text also states that the story of his coup was served to Western allies and that Zelensky is deliberately focusing on the story of the overthrow. Politika, without citing, also writes that “there has long been a conspiracy theory in political circles that Western statements about reducing aid to Ukraine are just a way to make it clear to Zelensky that it is time to leave.” Either through defeat in the elections or simply through resignation and transfer of power to other people.
Thus, the daily Informer writes that “the Ukrainian president fears mass protests in Kyiv.”
“Over the past months, information about divisions in the top leadership of Ukraine has been appearing more and more often in the Western media. Ukrainian sources claim that Zelensky is ‘petrified’ in achieving the unrealistic goal of pushing Russia out of all the territories that Kyiv claims to claim,” writes the Informer using the text of the British Time. The text provides an overview of all the challenges facing the president of a country under attack, both internally and in relations with Western partners. However, Informer uses the text as evidence that no one, even in Ukraine, believes that the occupied parts can be liberated.
The daily Alo also reported Zelenski’s statement in the same narrative as the media mentioned above. The cynical statement of the Deputy President of the Security Council of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, completed the set narrative.
“The head of Banderistan accuses Russia of preparing the ‘Maidan 3’ operation in Kyiv to remove him from power. Damn it… We got all the cards mixed up. They discovered us. And everything was already ready – people, tons of weapons,” wrote Medvedev on the X network, the recent Twitter.
Although no concrete fake news can be found in the analysed texts, the media above manipulated the facts, statements and writings of the Western media, spreading narratives that have been appearing every day since February 24, 2022. These are the narratives that the Maidan is a coup d’état, not a democratic revolution of the Ukrainian people, and that Zelensky is losing support in Ukraine.
According to the results of the Gallup survey, almost all Ukrainians agree that winning the war means regaining all the Ukrainian territory that Russia has occupied since 2014 when it annexed Crimea. Last year, 70% of them supported the fight to victory, and this year, the support dropped to 60%.
The survey also showed that Ukrainians greatly trust the army; as many as 95% of respondents trust the Ukrainian military. Support for President Zelenskiy is also strong, and 81% still trust him, although there are trends of falling trust due to a less decisive offensive than last year.
Author: Sofija Popović