How Kremlin-Backed Telegram Channels Target EU in Ukraine (Part 2)

July 1, 2024
Pro-Kremlin Telegram channels flood falsehood on the weakness of the block and its collapse

Read here the previous part about the main falsehood narratives on Ukraine's integration into the EU.

  • Narrative #2 "The EU is on the way to slow collapse."

Shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, pro-Russia Telegram channels began to circulate messages about the European Union's impending demise. As one would expect, the EU faced numerous challenges and was temporarily depressed by the effects of the war, which were precisely exploited by pro-Russian networks.

For instance, pro-Russian Telegram channel Mir Segodnia z Yurii Podoliak wrote, "In the struggle between Russia and the US on the territory of Europe, the EU will turn into a wasteland of Eurasia with more and more problems''. Later Telegram channels Zhenshchina z Kosoi and Kartel claimed that "the EU would fall apart for 3-5 years and cease to exist in 2030."

Moreover, the Kremlin is pushing the message that "Poland would divide the EU because of its ongoing conflict with the EU, and on the background of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Poland has become more powerful economically." From a geopolitical perspective, Legitymnyy channel noted that "the war between Israel and Hamas could be a penultimate nail in the coffin of the European Union, provoking a civil war in Europe."

In 2022, such posts were the key narratives of Russia's propaganda. However, their frequency partly decreased in 2023, but still, pro-Russia peddlers launch such Eurosceptic narratives ever and again.

Despite such manipulation, the EU is on a path of development and integration, rather than disintegration. In the face of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the EU met complications that forced it to consolidate its efforts and capabilities in order to become more powerful. By resisting Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the EU continues its integration, establishing military initiatives under the European Peace Facility and developing enlargement policy.

  • Narrative #3 "The EU is weak politically, economically, and militarily."

The leading narrative among pro-Kremlin Telegram peddlers is that the "political, economic situation in the EU becomes worse and worse with every day". For instance, on his Telegram channel, former Ukraine's politician, Anatolii Sharii, who is accused of treason in Ukraine, writes "With Ukraine, the EU will become poorer and poorer".

Such a message is reiterated under various wording but is one of the keys of his Telegram. Other pro-Kremlin Telegram peddlers also spread very similar ideas, such as the Eurosceptic Telegram channel, Legitymnyy. It underscores that "the Ukrainian crisis will last until the financial and defence sectors of the EU are at least 70% weak, holding the parallel between the EU's capability and the war in Ukraine." Moreover, pro-Kremlin channels also propagate that "the US has its own interests in the war in Ukraine, and achieving them will stiffen the EU."

Definitely, Russia's aggression has been changing the world economy, hurting the EU's welfare. Nevertheless, even after the recession, the EU shortly got out of this, returning to its economic stages. Very soon, the EU figured out how to bypass the drop in GDP and achieve some economic growth.

See how pro-Russia telegram peddlers portray Ukraine as a threat to the EU in the next part.

The article was originally published on the Kremlin's Voice platform.

Analyst at Internews-Ukraine PhD in International relations