“Attenti all’arabo!” La nuova strategia di Putin sul web


Chi trae i maggiori benefici dall’ondata emotiva anti.-immigrati in Europa? A giudicare dal fervore attivistico sul web dei supporter del Cremlino, è il regine di Putin in Russia. Il governo russo ha mobilitato i suoi “trolls” per inondare il web di notizie e video che illustrano, attraverso trucchi disinformativi ed esagerazioni, la pericolosità degli “arabi islamici” nei confronti della “civiltà cristiana”. Lo scopo di Putin è duplice: da un lato allargare l’isteria anti-immigrati, minando la coesione della Unione Europea. Dall’altro distogliere l’attenzione dalla aggressione militare russa nel’Ucraina orientale.

Who benefits from the anti-immigrant fervor in Europe?

Among my almost 5,000 Facebook “friends” are many Russians. Quite a few of them are pro-Putin, which nowadays gives a special taste to the word “friend”. Some of them are actually decent people, we just fundamentally disagree, but many have views that are “not good for my health”, so to say. And among those unlikable “friends” there are probably hundreds of trolls, who are part of the army of spiders in the web of Kremlin propaganda.

Why do I keep them there? Because they are for me a perfect indicator of what Putin is up to these days and what we can expect next. Very often Russia’s actions are preceded by a propaganda campaign via social media, or when the action failed it is followed by such, explaining why we should view a failure actually as a success. That way I can “feel” when some military action is planned in Eastern Ukraine, or whether some activity did not meet the desired goals and thus has to be “explained” to the Russian speaking audience of the Kremlin.

For me facebook has become a socio-political barometer, and over time it has proven its efficacy.

Since New Year’s Eve, I see a quickly increasing number of Russians posting video’s of a certain kind: videos of immigrants (“refugees”) going berserk and raising hell somewhere on the streets of Western Europe. The accompanying texts are usually ranging from “what the media don’t show” to “these are the animals we have let in”, and they are invariably denigrating and targeted at stimulating anger and creating a deep sense of frustration. It started with video’s covering the events in Cologne, where a large group of hooligan immigrants sexually harassed women during New Year’s Eve, but then it quickly spread to more videos from other German cities, from Sweden and Belgium. Some of the video’s show rather little, it is the accompanying texts that set the tone. For instance, a foggy video showing some marauding youngsters burning down a Christmas tree in Brussels is accompanied with a text stating “Arab immigrant young men vandalize a Christian symbol”. How one can determine at one glance that these boys are both Arab and immigrant and burn down the tree as part of an anti-Christian campaign rather than just out of vandalism I don’t know.

I can still understand why concerned German, Dutch Belgium citizens post such items out of fear and concern, even though I think they are fundamentally wrong and disseminate underbelly feelings. They believe the claims that the bulk of immigrants are male “testosterone bombs”, as some politicians delicately state.

But why are Russians posting videos about immigrants in Europe? I can imagine one or two, who are really worried about the worsening political climate in Europe (and wrongly blame immigrants for that, rather than the totally irresponsible populist politicians who use this for their political gain). I can imagine another three or four, who are attracted to such videos and have “loose fingers” posting and reposting without thinking much about it. I can even imagine some who have an automatic dislike of people with a “different” color of skin or a “different” culture, in particular because Russia is not the most non-discriminative and non-racist country in the world. But why do hundreds of Russians, and usually with the same suggestive texts?

I try not to believe in fairy-tales, or paranoid larger schemes that guide us all, but in this case I strongly believe we are watching another construction of Kremlin-orchestrated propaganda. After the massive barrage of anti-Ukrainian propaganda (turning a whole nation into judeo-banderovyte fascists) we are now watching an anti-immigrant propaganda campaign, aimed at destroying European integration and unity and stirring up tension in particular in those countries that have been strongly supportive of Ukraine during the past two years and where the real face of Putin has been too visible. Mind you, I am not saying the whole immigrant crisis is a Russian conspiracy, and I am not denying the European identity is going through difficult times. There are many factors that led to this situation, too many and complex to discuss here. What I am saying is that somebody is actively, deliberately and in an organized fashion putting oil on the fire to maximize the tension.

Is this is true, we are in for the greatest threat to security and peace in Europe since World War Two. Now there is not one Gavrilo Princip, who by assassinating Emperor Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 unleashed the most destructive war ever, which in fact lasted for 31 years until 1945. We have an army of Gavrilo Princips who together are assassinating the European House. And somebody is sitting back and enjoying the sight, while his “facebook” and other Princips do their destructive work.

Robert van Voren

Sull'Autore

Robert Van Voren

Robert van Voren è un attivista olandese per i diritti umani esperto di politica internazionale. Insegna Scienze Sovietiche e Postsovietiche alla Università di Tbilisi (Georgia) e in quella di Kaunas (Lituania). E' capo esecutivo della Iniziativa Globale di Psichiatria

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