Extremist groups are taking advantage of Russia’s war on Ukraine to amplify anti-NATO messages and portray Vladimir Putin as a defender against globalism, according to a watchdog group.
Traffic on Twitter has increased 20 to 25 percent since the invasion began, Joel Finkelstein, director and scientific director of the Network Contagion Research Institute, told Fox News Digital.
“Fragmental” tweets about a “new world order” plot doubled, he said, and accounts aligned with communists and socialists demanded an end to NATO – the Western alliance of the United States. cold war era.
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While the accounts were identified as being on opposite ends of the political spectrum, the NCRI found that some were promoting both messages.
While the researchers said they could not immediately identify who was coordinating the campaigns, the NCRI said the trends indicated “extremist influences” on both sides were “developing a common narrative” – anti-NATO and pro-Russia .
The campaigns also saw posts from verified accounts – including the Communist Parties of the United States and Canada, which blamed the United States and NATO for Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
The “#abolishNATO” campaign follows a statement on Saturday by the Democratic Socialists of America calling on the United States to withdraw from NATO “and end the imperialist expansionism that paved the way for this conflict.”
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Democratic socialists also accused a “neoliberal” “ruling class” of “trying to build a new world, through a dystopian transition based on militarism, imperialism and war”.
“The parallels between the New World Order narrative and the coordinated effort to abolish NATO show remarkable similarities,” the NCRI researchers wrote in a new report.
On the other hand, Finkelstein said, genuine behavior indicates “moral consensus” in the political aisle – with broad support for Ukraine against unprovoked Russian aggression.
Congressional leaders from both major US parties condemned the Russian invasion. Just like President Biden.
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Disinformation has been a key part of Russia’s playbook since the invasion of Ukraine. Putin claimed the offensive was a defensive measure and that he wanted to eliminate “Nazis” and “drug addicts” who he said had taken over the government in Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and he lost family members in the Holocaust. A Russian bomb also detonated Ukraine’s largest memorial to Jews murdered by the Nazis, the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial, on Tuesday.
When the invasion began, hashtags like “#BidensWar” were briefly trending – likely the result of another coordinated campaign.
On Monday, Facebook’s parent company Meta said it was restricting access to Russian state media in Europe to counter propaganda. The social media giant also said it has cracked down on a fledgling network trying to spread additional misinformation.
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On the Ukrainian side, white hat hackers and Kyiv-aligned groups have been pushing anti-war messages in a bid to turn public opinion against Putin at home.
Since the invasion began last week, Russia has seen protests in cities across its huge country calling for an end to the violence.
More than 6,000 Russian protesters have been arrested in dozens of cities during anti-war protests since the invasion began, according to The Associated Press.