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Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: plot for a coup in Germany in 2022

Propagandists have been trying for years to influence the situation in states that can actively support Ukraine’s further European integration path and oppose Russia’s plans in Europe. In particular, through the support of conspiracy theories in different countries of the world. An example of this is the 2022 German coup plot situation.

In December 2023, charges were brought against members of the Patriotic Union group, arrested a year ago. According to the investigation of the German police, the purpose of the group was to restore the German Empire through a coup d'etat in conditions of civil war. It has been planning an armed attack on the Bundestag since at least November 2021, in addition to the public detention of politicians for civil unrest. The Patriotic Union believed that parts of the German security forces would show solidarity with their efforts. German prosecutors have declared the group a terrorist group.

In a confiscated policy document, the group describes its goals in detail: in addition to patrolling the streets, its members, if they gained power, would also be responsible for the “neutralization of counter-revolutionary forces”. These conspirators included supporters of left-wing political views and Muslims. In addition, during the recruitment of candidates for the inner circle of “Prince Royce” (the head of the group), consultations with experts on paranormal phenomena and astrologers were recorded.

The group had a far-right ideology, regularly promoted anti-Semitic theories and shared the views of the American QAnon community, whose representatives believe that the United States is led by “satanists, cannibals and pedophiles”. The Patriotic Union's planned coup included an assault on the Reichstag, similar to the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Russia is directly involved in the activities of the group, even though the press secretary of the Russian President Dmytro Pieskov at one time denied any connection with the conspiracy group. In particular, it was financed by citizens of the Russian Federation through contact with Royce’s partner “Vitalii B.”, as the investigation found.

Recently, Russian propagandists have been trying to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, in particular, by fueling the idea of a coup. The example of the Patriotic Union shows well what such a conspiracy can look like, on what ideological basis it can exist, and also how conspiracy theories can become a destructive force for society.

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