Racists, conspiracists make up army of Kremlin’s fake experts who spread disinfo in West
The main topics of the pseudo-experts are the war against Ukraine, secret US biolabs, sham referendums in the occupied territories, the downing of MH17, etc
The Russian independent media outlet The Insider has presented an interactive map of "fakesperts" – Western pseudo-experts who spread pro-Kremlin disinformation in both Russian and Western media. Among them are well-known conspiracy theorists, masked marginals, as well as outspoken racists and anti-Semites.
“For Russian propaganda, it's crucial to have certain points of view voiced by foreigners, even if these individuals are unknown in their own countries,” The Insider points out.
What unites these individuals is their attempt to portray Putin's policies positively while disseminating outright disinformation. They don't merely express subjective opinions; they make factual claims, the unreliability of which can be easily proven.
The Insider delves into the most prominent examples and popular narratives propagated by Western fake experts.
US host Tucker Carlson
One notable figure is the renowned American host, Tucker Carlson, who until recently hosted one of the highest-rated programs on the Republican channel Fox News. Carlson is well-known for his conspiracy theories and the dissemination of fake news. For instance, he claimed that “over 3,000 people have died after getting the COVID vaccine in the United States”. He also supported the widely debunked conspiracy theory of the “grand replacement,” popular among racists, which suggests a deliberate replacement of white populations in the US and Europe with non-white populations.
In recent years, Tucker Carlson has also become a fervent Putin supporter. In the lead-up to the war, when Russia moved its strike forces to the Ukrainian border, Carlson dismissed it as a “border dispute,” adding that the key thing to know about the “country called Ukraine” is that it is a Western puppet, not a true democracy, actively propagating the conspiracy theory of “secret American biolabs in Ukraine.”
Soap seller presented as world politics observer
Unlike Carlson, many of these so-called experts misrepresent themselves. A soap seller might be presented as a world politics commentator, and a football goalkeeper as an expert in international security, The Insider underscores.
A classic example is a US citizen named Daniel Patrick Welch, whom pro-Kremlin media portray as a respected political analyst. This “political analyst” predicted the collapse of the EU and NATO due to the “Ukrainian crisis,” accused Ukraine of selling weapons to ISIS, and in 2023 claimed that half of the British aristocracy were Nazis, suggesting these forces remained dissatisfied with the outcomes of World War II and now aim to destroy Russia.
“In America, Welch is unheard of; he is simply the manager of a private daycare in the suburbs of Boston and the owner of a small online store which sells CDs with songs he performed himself, greeting cards, and handmade soap,” the journalists say.
Reptilian conspiracy theorist portrayed as political analyst
The “British political analyst” David Icke, who has become a star on Russian state channels, exposes George Soros (who replaced the Rockefellers and Rothschilds in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories), Zbigniew Brzezinski, and a mysterious “crisis group” responsible for organizing revolutions worldwide.
"David Icke is indeed a legendary figure. He started as a goalkeeper, then became a football commentator, but after failing to achieve any success in sports, he declared himself the son of God and predicted a series of earthquakes and other catastrophes (including the Doomsday in 1997)," The Insider writes.
He is famous as the inventor of the theory about reptilians, who effectively control the world, directly or indirectly, compelling political leaders of many earthly nations to carry out their will.
Racists, who apart from Kremlin media, have no audience
For instance, the Dutch writer Joost Niemöller, who once stated that the black race is intellectually inferior to the white race and that Hitler was “not that bad.” After this, Dutch publications ceased to engage with him, but Kremlin-controlled media became enthusiastic.
Among other things, Niemöller published a book titled MH17: The Cover-up Deal, in which he claimed that the Boeing was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet.
Main topics covered by pro-Kremlin fake experts
Following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, disinformation professionals in the West took up on the biolab discourse. The discussion regarding biolabs involved not only Russian propagandists and Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, but also Russia's UN envoy.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a relative of 25th US President John F. Kennedy and the son of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy Sr., is a significant player in this context. Kennedy Jr. is well-known for propagating conspiracy theories, most notably the popular but scientifically incorrect idea that vaccines cause autism. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he promoted the claim that the virus was manufactured as part of a pharmaceutical company conspiracy, portraying immunization as a microchipping attempt.
In August 2023, Kennedy Jr. discussed how America was establishing secret biolabs in Ukraine in an interview with Tucker Carlson.
The other key topics most often discussed by pseudo-experts are the alleged legitimacy of pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine, the war against Ukraine, as well as the downing of Boeing MH17, the attempted assassination of agent Sergei Skripal and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, etc.