Russian forces under the direction of Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine this week in an unprovoked, multi-pronged attack and are bearing down on the capital city of Kyiv, with explosions and gunfire now being heard around the city.
Through it all, Putin maintains an account on Twitter, the same social media platform that banned former President Donald Trump for life. What’s more, the Kremlin and high-ranking Russian officials have been using the platform to give updates about Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and spread Russian propaganda.
And there has been no let up of the propaganda, as these officials “continue to have unfettered access to their accounts,” Fox News reported.
The network said Twitter declined to comment “on whether it will take steps to block Putin or high-ranking Russian accounts from posting as the war escalates.” Fox News also reached out to Instagram and Facebook, reporting that the platforms did not immediately respond to their request for comment.
The verified Twitter account for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has nearly 380,000 followers and posted over 20 tweets defending Russia’s attack on Ukraine. One tweet posted pushed unfounded allegations of genocide and Nazism.
“The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for 8 years now, have been facing genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime,” one tweet claimed. “To this end, we will seek to demilitarise & denazify Ukraine, bring to trial those who perpetrated bloody crimes vs civilians.”
💬 President #Putin: The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for 8 years now, have been facing genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime.
To this end, we will seek to demilitarise & denazify Ukraine, bring to trial those who perpetrated bloody crimes vs civilians. pic.twitter.com/ZynUPAlnVD
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) February 24, 2022
Other posts threaten “tough response measures” to the EU’s “continuing unfriendly steps against Russia” and scolds the U.S for creating a “veritable ‘empire of lies,” Fox News reported. A phone call between Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was shared Thursday, where he “expressed understanding with respect to Russia’s security concerns caused by the destabilizing actions of the US and NATO.”
On Facebook, where Putin’s account has 3 million followers, the Russian president was celebrated as the “Defender of the Fatherland Day.”
Another post shared Thursday said, in part, “We want peace! We wanted to talk and negotiate. According to the Minsk agreements, we gave Ukraine a chance to reintegrate the republics of Donbas. Ukraine only needed to stop shooting at residential areas and listen to people that are living there.”
“We wanted to talk to Europe and the United States, but in response we faced only neglect of our questions,” the propaganda continued, unchecked. “All these years, the West supported the Ukrainian regime, pushing it to war with Russia. All these years we asked not to arm our neighbors, because these weapons are used against civilians in Donbas.”
With Ukraine reeling, the Kremlin said Friday it is ready to hold talks with the country, but only after Ukrainian forces essentially surrender, USA Today reported.
“Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Belarus to meet with Ukrainian officials,” the newspaper said. “This came after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is willing to discuss a non-aligned status for the country, which would essentially mean dropping the country’s bid to join NATO.”
Citing Russia’s state-controlled TASS News Agency, the article noted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Ukraine must put down its arms before any talks can happen.
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