Defend Truth


Be an informed propaganda mythbuster


Liubov Abravitova is the Ambassador of Ukraine to South Africa.

Russian propaganda stealthily weaves its narratives, often masquerading as ‘truth’. It seeks to manipulate our perceptions, beliefs and actions. Yet, amid this sea of disinformation, there exists a powerful antidote.

Every time I look at social media or read the comment section of articles about Russia’s war on Ukraine, I’m taken aback by the misinformed statements. 

Some of the comments are downright vicious; they range from “Russia was lied to”, to “It was a pre-emptive strike!”. 

Poor little terrorist Russia is such a victim! It was stabbed in the back by everyone! 

Chechnya, a country of 1.4 million, started a war with Russia (population: 143 million) twice

Georgia, a country of 3.4 million, attacked the nuclear superpower! 

Wars in Moldova, Abkhazia, Syria… 

Just in the last 30 years, Russians started, or participated in, at least seven devastating wars:

  • 1992-1993: Russian occupation of Transnistria; 
  • 1992-1993: Russia provoked war in Abkhazia, 
  • 1994-96: Russia attacked Chechnya for the first time; 
  • 1999-2009: Russia started the second Chechen war; 
  • 2008: Russia started the war in Georgia; 
  • 2015-2022: Russian terrorists were levelling Syria to the ground; and 
  • 2014-now: Russian terrorists started the war with Ukraine.

Do you want to guess how many wars Ukraine started? If you guessed zero, you would be correct. But poor Russia, the world’s largest country by territory, that houses the world’s largest stash of nuclear weapons, keeps whining that it is the real victim. 

‘Peacekeeping missions’

Everything related to Russia on the international stage turns into ashes and suffering and destruction. They keep pouring billions into propaganda that bills their terrorism as “peacekeeping missions” and “a special military operation” in “defence of Russian-speaking or Orthodox population” and “saving the Russian-speaking population”. 

Russia’s made-up “facts” can be debunked with literally one Google search, but I keep seeing support for these terrorists over and over again, rehashing the same old propaganda fakes in Russia’s defence. Even though it’s basic and unsophisticated, Russian propaganda has found fertile ground in which to flourish all around the world.

Yesterday, I heard a new one: “Ukraine is not a democracy, and Russia is trying to install democratic practices in Ukraine.” 

I’m not going to dignify this with a response, but I am going to share an image of the results of the presidential elections in the last 20+ years: 

Today, I have a specific piece of Russian propaganda I want to discuss: Russia attacked Ukraine to protect its land from Nato. Apart from many facts that debunk this stupidity, we all witnessed an event a couple of days ago that once more proved Russia is lying.

Two weeks ago, the biggest attack on Russia’s military sites took place. Multiple Ukrainian drones attacked different parts of Russia and one of the most important sites was a huge military airfield with dozens of valuable military planes in Pskov. 

Russia keeps crying it is at war with Nato and not committing genocide in Ukraine, but the vital military airport that was attacked lies alongside two Nato countries (Estonia and Latvia), and the attack was so successful, and so many planes were destroyed because Russia had no air defence there. 

So, why do you think that at a Russia-Nato border there’s no military and no air defence? 

It’s because Russia knows it is not at war with Nato and will never be attacked by Nato, but Putin had to make up fairytales to kill Ukrainians.

Another propaganda point that Putin keeps crying about is, “Nato wasn’t supposed to expand.” Is there a document we can see about that? Maybe a signed memorandum? A treaty? I would even take something written on a napkin and given to the Russians. No? Nothing? Absolutely nothing? 

One simple Google search would more than provide you with this information. If Putin had something, it would have been displayed all over the internet. It’s a fake argument. 

Another Russian myth

Myth 2: Nato promised Russia it would not expand after the Cold War.

Fact: Such an agreement was never made. Nato’s door has been open to new members since it was founded in 1949, and that has never changed. This “open door policy” is enshrined in Article 10 of Nato’s founding treaty, which says, “Any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic” can apply for membership. Decisions on membership are taken by consensus among all Nato allies. No treaty signed by the United States, Europe and Russia included provisions on Nato membership.

The idea of Nato expansion beyond a united Germany was not on the agenda in 1989, particularly as the Warsaw Pact still existed. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev in an interview in 2014.

“The topic of ‘Nato expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn’t bring it up, either,” Gorbachev said.

Declassified White House transcripts also reveal that, in 1997, Bill Clinton consistently refused Boris Yeltsin’s offer of a “gentlemen’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would enter Nato. 

“I can’t make commitments on behalf of Nato, and I’m not going to be in the position myself of vetoing Nato expansion with respect to any country, much less letting you or anyone else do so … Nato operates by consensus,” Clinton said.

Now, about the “aggressive” Nato and poor little victim Russia: when Russia started its genocidal war because it was afraid of Nato, it already had borders with multiple Nato members. Furthermore, during this delusional imperial war, Finland joined Nato, and with that, more than doubled the Nato-Russian border. Sweden is soon to join. 

Lastly, Putin in his early days dreamed of joining Nato, but didn’t want to go through the usual process because he was planning on robbing Russian citizens blind, and blooming corruption was never among Nato’s preferences. There was a big article on this in The Guardian if it’s of any interest to you.

To sum up, it’s evident that Russian propaganda stealthily weaves its narratives which often masquerade as “truth”. It seeks to manipulate our perceptions, beliefs and actions. Yet, amid this sea of disinformation, there exists a powerful antidote, one accessible to all: you’re always a Google search away from the truth.

Help me spread awareness. Ask everyone to check. The world of Russian propaganda can shape thoughts and decisions — but only in those who are open to blindly believing it. As you can see, most of it is easily decoded when people become vigilant information consumers. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Louise Louise says:

    Interesting article, thank you. Even if there was no written agreement not to expand NATO towards the East, President Putin warned NATO not to expand. In December 2021, this was his warning: “In a dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on working out specific agreements that would exclude any further NATO moves eastward and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory,” Putin said. ”

    I can appreciate why he made it. The USA has about 450 military bases around the world and sticks its vile nose into everyone else’s business, killing millions in the process. Ukraine is another puppet country doing the bidding of the USA. What will happen now that the USA has to fight another proxy war for “Israel”?

    There are reports that President Zelensky has removed any political opposition to his own Presidency. Is this true?

    As the Ukraine Ambassador to South Africa, of course your article would not be expected to list the problems – criminal or otherwise – in your country.

    Neither Russia nor Ukraine is without blame and sadly it is the ordinary citizen who is trapped in the middle of these conflicts. I have absolute empathy for the Ukrainian citizens and the Russian citizens who want peace, not war.

    We, as the “great unwashed”, will never know the full truth of what happens in these horrific conflicts/wars. What I do know is that I don’t trust your article.

    • A.K.A. Fred says:

      Very disappointing Louise Louise. Does your response mean that you actually trust Putin? Putin is like the big bully we all knew at school. The power of the bully fades over time or in one big event when people have had enough and stand together. Now is the time to stand together against Putin.

      • Louise Louise says:

        I always find it interesting that readers of comments fail to grasp the meaning of some sentiments. Where on earth did I say that I trusted Putin? Hmmm? I specifically stated that “neither Russia nor Ukraine is without blame”.

    • Bruce Sobey says:

      If you don’t trust the article, surely you could take the time to Google and check the facts before commenting.

      • Caroline de Braganza says:

        Well said!

      • Louise Louise says:

        I ran out of space to comment further *grin*. I stated my key points. But I will say one last thing in that if one goes back say 10 years for the headlines on Ukraine, they were not exactly complimentary. But, as I’ve stated numerous times now, I neither support Putin nor Zelensky. I do not wish for any further lives to be lost or maimed. Most governments around the world are not to be trusted to safeguard the citizens of their countries.

        Ultimately the tentacles of the globalists/cabal inveigle their way into every aspect of our lives and do their best to destroy families, society, friendships and countries. They pit everyone against each other – “divide and rule” – and some of the responses on this thread show the absolute proof of that.

    • Denise Smit says:

      So you are saying “Louise – Louise” (such a pretty English name) that because Putin warned Nato that it had a reason to start the war on Ukrain. Nothing you say is truthfull, but a distortion and fake news. What do you say about the war crimes committed eg the children abducted from their families and taken to Russia?. Shame , you have already said you have sympathy for them. And who now started the war in Palestina/Israel.? The Hamasa and Islamist Jihad started the war, The crimes committed here is also crimes against humanity. Denise Smit

      • Louise Louise says:

        Yet again you are someone who tries to read in between the lines of a very straight forward comment. I picked up on the allegation that Putin was not promised by NATO that NATO would not encroach on Russia. Whereas Putin did ask/warn NATO not to encroach. Let me ask you this question : if you saw one of your neighbours moving their house closer and closer to yours and you knew that your neighbours were very unfriendly towards you and your family, what would you do? Warn them first and then if they didn’t heed the warning allow them to take over your home? I will repeat that I do not condone war or invasions or anything involving violence and I do not condone what Putin has done. But I can UNDERSTAND what he has done.

        Who started the war in Palestine? Go back in your history books and it was the British who handed Palestine over to the Jews. Blame the British for laying the foundation. Go back and look up the Irgun group and what the Jews have done to the Palestinians.

        But at the end of the day the goal of the deep state/cabal/whatever you want to call them is to divide people into “for” and “against” certain groups, which is why I will not support anything other than peace and humanity itself.

        Those who think that the corporate media is telling you the truth, or that people with careers and vested interests are sticking up for the ordinary citizen, need to wake up.


    Ms Abravitora, as always, thank-you for your factual articles. Sadly there is no cure for the “ostrich syndrome” of Putler disciples in this world. Slava Ukraini!!!!

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Yes Louise, please get your facts straight. Don’t be an apologist and fool like prof Mearsheimer, who talks the biggest nonsense. Finland and Sweden joining NATO, who have been neutral since the end of WW2 – is that an underhand move by NATO to expand to Russia’s borders or just the will of these two free nations wanting security in numbers because the world has a deranged, evil and blood-thirsty mass-murdering monster in the Kremlin? Furthermore, what nation in their right mind wouldn’t want freedom and run 1000 miles to get away from a repressive, dictatorial, murderous and brutal regime that Russia was/is under the odious and diabolical Stalin and equally odious and diabolical Putin? 7 to 10 million Ukrainians were murdered by Stalin in the deliberate great famine and purges of the 1920’s and 1930’s – only for the same thing to be happening today due to one little man’s pathetic, brittle and overblown ego, wanting empire that that always horrid. Poland, the Baltic States etc. have all gained their freedom – why shouldn’t Ukraine – they are not Russian and never were! Mrs. Ambassador – keep up the great work in exposing the lies, bile, vitriol and falsehoods emanating from the Putin thug and the revolting Kremlin. Propaganda, misinformation, lies and distortions are a communist and Soviet/Russian specialty from day 1 and continue to this day. Only the most dimwitted would believe a word that these despicable scum utter. SLAVA UKRAINA!!!!

  • Caroline de Braganza says:

    Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2020, I too have been shocked by misinformation and outright lies posted on social media and in comments.

    However, it is unlikely that those who lack critical thinking skills, will change their minds because they react with emotions rather than rational thought and will reject anything that threatens what they believe to be true. We have the same problem with those who believe climate change/global warming is a hoax, despite the plethora of scientific evidence to the contrary.

    Searching for facts on Google does not necessarily solve the problem as the algorithm recognizes a user’s preferences from the past and produces the answers that supportstheir views. For example, neuroscientists have proved there is no such thing as a person being left- or right-brain dominant, yet a Google search will offer articles that perpetuate the myth. The same goes for social media. Our brains are by nature cognitively lazy and do not make the effort to investigate further.

    Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels was a master of misinformation, the basic tenet being that the more often you repeat a lie, the more people will believe it.

    Thank you for your truth-filled article which I hope will help change some people’s minds. I shall continue to write the truth on my blogs!

    • Denise Smit says:

      I have had an Ukrain flag painted by myself outside my house since the beginning of the war and will continue to show my support to you in this war. Denise Smit


      • Louise Louise says:

        And did you show the same support for Iraq when the USA invaded there on the pretext of “weapons of mass destruction”, that didn’t exist? How about when the USA invaded Syria? And all the other countries they have bombed? I will repeat for clarity – I do not condone Putin’s actions nor Zelensky’s actions. War only benefits the warmongers and not the ordinary citizens. War benefits the bankers and the arms dealers. By you showing support for Ukraine, you are showing support for the USA (and some European countries) to keep supplying Ukraine with bombs, guns, tanks etc to kill people.

        I strongly suggest you contemplate who and what you support.

    • Bernhard Scheffler says:

      Excellent reply. But of course Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 (not 2020).

  • Yvonne Riester says:

    That evil, massmurdering psychopath Putin who has caused so much misery in so many countries including his own ( one wrong word and you’re imprisoned for 20 years or murdered by poisoning) makes me vomit with disgust whenever I hear his name or look at his picture. Whoever supports him needs his head read or is blinded by Russian propaganda.

  • Martin Smith says:

    A pity about Jack F Matlock’s account of the events of that time. I look forward to China making a military alliance with Mexico (against which there are no legal impediments) and see how how the US reacts.

  • Martin Smith says:

    Document 04
    Memorandum of Conversation between James Baker and Eduard Shevardnadze in Moscow.
    Feb 9, 1990
    U.S. Department of State, FOIA 199504567 (National Security Archive Flashpoints Collection, Box 38)
    Although heavily redacted compared to the Soviet accounts of these conversations, the official State Department version of Secretary Baker’s assurances to Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze just before the formal meeting with Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, contains a series of telling phrases. Baker proposes the Two-Plus-Four formula, with the two being the Germanies and the four the post-war occupying powers; argues against other ways to negotiate unification; and makes the case for anchoring Germany in NATO. Furthermore, Baker tells the Soviet foreign minister, “A neutral Germany would undoubtedly acquire its own independent nuclear capability. However, a Germany that is firmly anchored in a changed NATO, by that I mean a NATO that is far less of [a] military organization, much more of a political one, would have no need for independent capability. There would, of course, have to be iron-clad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward. And this would have to be done in a manner that would satisfy Germany’s neighbors to the east.”

  • Martin Smith says:

    Document 06
    Record of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow. (Excerpts)
    Feb 9, 1990
    Gorbachev Foundation Archive, Fond 1, Opis 1.
    The key exchange takes place when Baker asks whether Gorbachev would prefer “a united Germany outside of NATO, absolutely independent and without American troops; or a united Germany keeping its connections with NATO, but with the guarantee that NATO’s jurisdiction or troops will not spread east of the present boundary.” Thus, in this conversation, the U.S. secretary of state three times offers assurances that if Germany were allowed to unify in NATO, preserving the U.S. presence in Europe, then NATO would not expand to the east. Interestingly, not once does he use the term GDR or East Germany or even mention the Soviet troops in East Germany. For a skilled negotiator and careful lawyer, it seems very unlikely Baker would not use specific terminology if in fact he was referring only to East Germany.
    The Soviet leader responds that “[w]e will think everything over. We intend to discuss all these questions in depth at the leadership level. It goes without saying that a broadening of the NATO zone is not acceptable.” Baker affirms: “We agree with that.”

    • Louise Louise says:

      Thank you Stephen, this is precisely the type of information that is highly relevant. And I must repeat, I do not condone who and what Putin is. Nor Zelensky. As far as I’m concerned they are both players in the global cabal. Most countries have a torrid history and it is history that we can turn to for explanations of WHY certain things happen or don’t happen.

  • Simon Rhoades says:

    Interesting definition of propaganda, and if you’re talking about Google searches, I just did one on the Georgia-Russia war and the top link was a Reuters article reporting that according to an independent EU report made in 2009, Georgia started the war with Russia.

    This article is pure propaganda. Of course no-one should trust Putin, but beware of anyone who insists you make a binary call where all is black or white, them bad us good. Recognising complexity and nuance in geopolitics is not falling victim to propaganda. Blindly taking sides is.

    • Louise Louise says:

      Simon, thank you! Perhaps I am not being clear enough about this situation but my stance is not to take sides at all, except to say no more war and to support humanity itself. I don’t trust anyone in any government anywhere, nor the media. Not until they have shown they can be trusted. And I haven’t found one yet. Everyone at high levels has vested interests so it creates inherent bias.

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