Every war has them: Tokyo Rose, Lord Haw-Haw. Your side will betray you, your leaders don’t know what they’re doing, come join us on the side of history blah blah blah. They’re part of the propaganda campaign and always will be.
This time around we have social media! And so it starts.
It actually started some time ago. Russian embassies have been shitposting for the past few years. They even hit me with one, but it was two or three years back, and I can’t find it.
This is no surprise.
The US Embassy Kyiv meme has been criticized from several directions. I like it. It’s historically accurate, refutes Putin’s assertion that Ukraine is a creation of Vladimir Lenin, and plays into some of my favorite counterfactuals: What would Russia look like if the Novgorod Republic had taken the lead rather than Muscovy? Or Kyivan Rus? That’s too long ago to work up a counterfactual – too many forking points between here and there – but I do like to think about it.
Back in November, deputies in the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) called on Kyiv to begin calling the Russian Federation Muscovy. It was not fully supported by their colleagues.
Many of those opposed to do so say that advocates are drawing on a 2009 book of fiction by amateur historian Volodomyr Bilinsky that argued that Muscovy was not the successor to Kiyevan Rus “but only a typical ulus of the Golden Horde and had nothing in common with the Eastern Slavs.” Many Ukrainians believe that but historians do not.
So Russia might be able to claim that its meme war is completely defensive.
Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner