Espreso. Global

The Pope’s white flag: Everything we need to know

10 March, 2024 Sunday

We should start with the fact that Russian propaganda's overarching narrative can be boiled down to one phrase: "Peace-loving Russians want negotiations, while puppet Ukrainians do not."

This represents the primary communication and diplomatic strategy employed by the Russians. I'm not reinventing the wheel here; I've been highlighting this since October-November.

Regrettably, the Russians, through a concerted effort to control the narrative, are gradually making this framework more comprehensible not just for segments of the global elite but also for widespread populations in various parts of the world.

It's crucial to note one key aspect: the Kremlin's ultimate plan at this point is to freeze the conflict along the contact line, coupled with official pledges of a partial lifting of sanctions. Now, let's delve into how this principal narrative of the Russian Federation unfolds.

1. Current efforts are focused on establishing negotiation platforms, with Russia taking calculated risks, and possibly presenting similar proposals to various players. It is a fact that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Switzerland are now involved in this game, whereas the Vatican is not. It has definitively aligned itself with Russia. It's essential to clarify that we cannot play with them. We lack connections at the higher echelons of the Vatican.

2. The Russians are insistent on rejecting the Ukrainian formula for future discussions, urging all parties to engage in talks. At this juncture, their primary objective is a clear renunciation of the formula and an expansion of negotiation venues.

3. Russian messaging aims to convey a sense of impending front-line challenges, emphasizing the urgency for negotiations. The narrative varies, targeting different audiences – from framing it as a potential setback for Western leaders like Biden and Macron to positioning it as retribution for Gaza. This is the main auxiliary message. It's crucial to note that Russians strategically amplify pro-Ukrainian statements from Western politicians advocating for arming Ukraine, using them as reverse resonators. This aspect deserves careful attention.

4. One of the most important messages of the Russians is that Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe (no comments).

5. The Russian economy's endurance over the years implies that the ongoing war won't cripple Russia but rather erode the West (reminiscent of a distorted Cold War-era virtual space race). It's crucial to recognize that the West hasn't fully engaged in the arms race yet. For Russia, now past its prime, preventing the West from sealing its fate – Russia's defeat being the West's victory – is imperative. The Kremlin treats this as a historical mission, emphasizing the limitless potential of the Russian economy as its key narrative.

6. In the Russians' backup strategy or Plan B, they aim to identify and exploit points of tension akin to the Syrian scenario. Despite two years of efforts, they've yet to succeed in sparking a civil war in Niger, instigating Hezbollah to conflict with Israel, or provoking a clash between Venezuela and Guyana. The search persists, constituting a primary goal for Russian diplomacy.

7. And one last thing. Regarding the Vatican, the Pope has always been a pro-Russian leftist. The reasons behind this are not crucial. What matters to us is the upcoming election of a new Pontiff. The Pope has recently implemented personnel changes, notably strengthening his native order and the Jesuits. Although I’m not an expert on Vatican workings, it is evident that we need to forge a different kind of relationship with the Holy See to avoid repeating past challenges.

It's crucial to recognize that everything detailed above forms part of the Russian information attack worldwide. We need to formulate responses and identify responsible individuals to address these and other issues (as this is only my perspective on the situation).


About the author: Vadym Denysenko, a political scientist.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors. 

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