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Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the theory of Ukraine as a NATO colony

Propagandists continue to downplay the success of the NATO summit in Vilnius. For decades they have presented the alliance as the eternal enemy of Russia, which poses a threat to peace.

Most often, for Ukrainian audiences, Russian propagandists promote the theory that if Ukraine joins NATO, the US will take over and turn it into its colony.

The roots of this conspiracy theory go back to Soviet times, when the citizens of the USSR were intimidated that NATO wanted to destroy the population of the Union. The Cold War left a reflection on the perception of NATO by Ukrainians. Even with geopolitical changes and the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet alternative to NATO), Ukrainians have not been committed to the North Atlantic Alliance for decades. According to opinion polls, Ukrainians' distrust of NATO peaked in 2006. Skeptical messages about the Alliance were fed by pro-Russian politicians and media people. In particular, one of the main elements of the election campaign of the odious Nataliia Vitrenko was the fight against NATO. In 2008, deputies from the “Regions” party brought balls and flags with “NATO - no”  inscriptions to vote for a resolution on mutual understanding with the Alliance. Ex-president Viktor Yanukovych also nourished the rejection of NATO, promising Ukraine a “neutral status”.

By spreading such conspiracy theories, Russia wants to force Ukrainians to remain in the networks of Soviet ideology. This is how propagandists want to intimidate Ukrainians and prove the seemingly unviable Ukrainian statehood. However, the Revolution of Dignity and Russia's aggression against Ukraine increased support for Ukraine's integration into NATO, not only among the citizens of Ukraine, but also in several NATO member countries, as the poll of the Renaissance Foundation shows. The Ukrainians have nevertheless become convinced that in the NATO member countries, the troops of the Alliance have almost no influence on the life of the states in which they are based. In addition, NATO is very cautious about accepting new members. In particular, despite the high level of support among the Ukrainian society, the Alliance itself has not yet accepted Ukraine into its membership.

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