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Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: Deepstate (Deep State Theory)

The “deep state”, according to conspiracy theorists, is a hidden network of members of the federal government (particularly in the US intelligence agencies) who collaborate with high-ranking financial and industrial institutions to control the elected government of the United States from within.

However, the term first emerged in the 1990s as a reference to the “deep state” in Turkey. It also has its roots in at least the 1950s, but back then it meant more of the concept of the military-industrial complex, which involves the collusion of generals and defense equipment manufacturers who enrich themselves due to endless wars in other countries. Subsequently, it began to be used for the American government, especially during the administration of President Barack Obama in a slightly different context. The theory gained widespread publicity during the presidency of Donald Trump, who spoke of a “deep state” allegedly working against him and his policies. Trump's use of his social media account Twitter (now X), along with other elements of right-wing populist movements during his presidency, helped develop the theory into one of the fundamental elements of the QAnon movement.

Public opinion polls conducted in 2017 and 2018 indicate that about half of all Americans believe in the existence of the deep state.

Russian propagandists use this theory in different contexts on the topic of Ukraine. In particular, they are trying to justify the actions of the Russians by saying that it is in fact the United States that is subservient to the elites and artificially continuing the war. Proponents of the conspiracy theory argue that the rich and intelligence agencies are pushing the parties towards war and even determine US policy, so elections are supposedly meaningless, and Ukraine cannot end the war with victory. Or that in general both Russia and Ukraine are supposedly pawns in their hands and they need to go and negotiate peace. In addition, in this way they also express their distrust not only of the United States, but also increase their distrust of Ukrainian institutions and the state as a whole. Like, if this is how the States work, then in Ukraine, especially, everything is controlled by a limited elite and special services.

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