Spilnota Detector Media

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: Bilderberg Club

Propagandists use various conspiracy theories to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine. In this case, we are talking about the Bilderberg Club - a real-life private annual meeting of world leaders. It was originally held to prevent a world war, but now, according to its participants, it is an unfiltered discussion about the future of the world.

However, the confidentiality surrounding the group has not only led to various criticisms of it and its activities from different political positions, but also to a number of conspiracy theories. Different categories of conspiracy theorists have different versions about the group's intentions. Some left-wing or less specifically oriented political groups accuse the Bilderberg group of either covertly imposing or generally supporting capitalist dominance and corporate power, while right-wing activists and Russian propagandists are accusing them of imposing or promoting world government and global planned austerity. Right-wing conspiracy theorists typically view the group as a central decision-making body, or at least attribute significant importance to its role, while most left-wing or apolitical conspiracy theorists view it only as one of the institutions that help promote international corporate interests and ideology.

In August 2010, former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote an article for the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma in which he referenced Daniel Estulin's 2006 book, “Secrets of the Bilderberg Club”, which Castro said described “the ill-fated Bilder lobby groups”. They say they are manipulating the public “to establish a world government that knows no boundaries and is answerable to no one but itself”.

Russia is spreading this theory, emphasizing that the war in Ukraine is also a plan of this club. Like, it wasn’t Russia that started it, but Russia was framed. This theory is another form of the world government theory that we wrote about earlier. According to him, the world is ruled by a separate elite, which creates a bunch of crises in order to reduce the population.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: “gay propaganda” and “blue mafia”

Propagandists use various conspiracy theories to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine. One such example is the idea of “gay propaganda” and the “blue mafia”. “Gay propaganda” or “homosexual propaganda” is a term used in religious circles to disparage the promotion of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships. They say that in Western countries there is a circle of gay elites - the “blue mafia”, which “forcibly” promotes the “superiority” of LGBT couples over heterosexual ones. Children allegedly become LGBT persons after viewing LGBT-related content. According to conspiracy theorists, such methods are used to reduce the world's population. Although the “blue mafia” theory initially concerned only showbiz and fashion, later conservative activists and especially Russia dragged it into politics.

The term “gay agenda” actually originates from the United States and is actively used in other countries with active anti-LGBTQ movements, such as Hungary and Uganda. It was made popular by a video series produced by California-based religious group Springs of Life Ministries in 1992. A series of these videos were circulated in many Christian organizations and spoke of “gay propaganda”.

Conservative activists and conspiracy theorists also include efforts to change government policies and laws regarding LGBT rights as gay propaganda. In particular, American conservative activists use the term to refer to changes in LGBT rights legislation, such as same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination. Russian propagandists took this into account and adjusted it to the local context. They say that liberal forces in the USA and the EU are forcing Ukraine to recognize LGBT couples as more important in the legal field than heterosexual ones, from which Russia supposedly has to save us. They say we cannot allow a future where LGBT couples have more rights than heterosexual couples.

Russia adapted these theories not only in its propaganda, but also in its legislation. In particular, on June 11, 2013, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted a law prohibiting “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. This law supplements the Code of Administrative Offenses (CAO RF) with an article providing for administrative liability for “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors, and also makes changes to the federal law “On the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development”, according to which Information prohibited for distribution among children also includes information “promoting non-traditional sexual relationships”. In addition, the law introduces amendments similar to the law “On Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child in the Russian Federation”.

On November 30, 2023, Judge Oleg Nefedov of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared it an “extremist organization” and banned the “international public movement of LGBT people”. With this decision, the Supreme Court satisfied the claim of the Russian Ministry of Justice, sent on November 17, 2023. Since the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the condition of the LGBT community in the Russian Federation has deteriorated significantly. Thus, in 2022, a law was passed banning LGBT propaganda among adults, and in July 2023, a law banning transgender transition. According to human rights activists, the Russian authorities were thus trying to distract the conservative electorate from the failures in the war with Ukraine, strengthening homophobia and transphobia in society.

Sexual orientation (regardless of whether it is heterosexuality or homosexuality) is natural and does not depend on the work of the media, fashion, ideology or the activity of any social groups. Detector Media has repeatedly debunked absurd Russian fake news aimed at reinforcing the “gay propaganda” narrative.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: The Birds Don’t Exist

Movement Propagandists use various conspiracy theories to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine, sometimes even satirical ones. Satirical conspiracy movements are created to ridicule real theories and their adherents. However, Russia often resorts to presenting satire as reality. One example of this is the satirical Birds Don't Exist movement. Its creators claim that birds, such as pigeons, are supposedly drones operated by the United States government to spy on American citizens. The movement began in January 2017 when Peter MacIndoe created this theory during protests. After a video of him and his “Birds Don't Exist” sign during the Women's March in Memphis went viral, the movement gained popularity. Subsequently, the founders of the movement organized rallies in support of this theory and even created a special truck that traveled around the country and distributed it.

The theory is that the US government exterminated all birds between 1959 and 1971 and replaced them with surveillance drones. Claims within this theory, such as that birds charge on electrical wires or use defecation for tracking, are not always consistent. Supporters of the movement are holding demonstrations with “Birds Don't Exist” signs and erecting billboards, and are calling on companies like Twitter to change their logos. The movement had hundreds of thousands of fans in 2021, according to MSNBC.

Russian propagandists love to demonize the West, using both this satirical theory and other materials of a satirical and humorous nature, passing them off as reality. For example, they once wrote about a copy of Mein Kampf allegedly found during an IDF raid. They say that the military Azov left her. This thesis was actually invented in a satirical telegram channel. And there are many such examples. Russian propaganda wants people to stop distinguishing between what is truth and what is a joke and to believe in everything. They say that the modern world is so unpredictable that something that seemed absurd and funny just a few years ago can happen. It is precisely because of this uncertainty about the future that people turn to conspiracy theories - they provide quick answers to urgent questions.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: “movement of sovereign citizens”

Propagandists use various conspiracy theories to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine. One of them is the Sovereign Citizens Movement. This is a group of people in the United States that is common in other countries. They are united by anti-government activities. This group includes activists, litigators, tax protesters, financial fraudsters and conspiracy theorists. They adhere to their own pseudo-legal ideology, which is based on distorted interpretations of common law. They say that they are not limited by government laws if they do not agree with them.

According to the FBI, sovereign citizens are “anti-government extremists” who consider themselves separate from the United States despite living within its borders. They reject the authority of courts and government laws, believing that they can avoid legal obligations through various tactics. This includes refusing to pay taxes, ignoring laws, and rejecting official documents such as Social Security numbers and driver's licenses. Although the arguments of sovereign citizens have no legal validity and have never been recognized by the court.

The movement often attracts individuals facing financial or legal problems or those who consider government actions to be discriminatory. As a result, it grows during periods of economic or social crises. Although it was first associated with racist and right-wing groups, it now includes people of various ethnic backgrounds, including a significant number of African Americans. Most sovereign citizens do not support violence, but their methods often involve illegal activities. Some of them were convicted of tax and financial fraud, as well as traffic violations. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation classifies the Movement as domestic terrorists.

Sovereign citizen legal theories reinterpret the United States Constitution through selective readings of legal dictionaries, state court decisions or specific rules, and other sources, including the Bible. They routinely ignore the second clause of Article VI of the Constitution, which establishes it as the fundamental law of the land and the Supreme Court as the final authority for interpretation. In addition, many in the Movement consider the county sheriff to be the most important law enforcement officer in the country, with powers greater than those held by federal agents, elected officials, or local law enforcement agencies. This argument is now becoming more used in the context of events occurring around US immigration policy and the recent decisions of the Governor of Texas on defending the state border.

In the post-Soviet space, the Movement is represented by the Union of Slavic Forces of Russia (USSR), also known as “citizens of the USSR” and “necrocommunists”. It is an informal social movement, whose supporters believe that the USSR (and/or the Russian Empire) as a sovereign state and subject of international relations still exists, they consider themselves citizens of this state and do not recognize the Russian Federation, do not comply with its laws and do not obey her government, an ideological movement that believes in conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism.

The ideology of the movement is used to justify Russian aggression towards Ukraine and to stop providing assistance to it. The idea of a “USSR that still exists” has formed the basis of Russian state ideology and is the motivation for the disinformation campaign waged by the Kremlin on a global scale.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the theory of “subconscious programming”

Propagandists often try to explain current events with mysterious circumstances or wild speculation instead of facts. One way to do this is to use the theory of subconscious programming. This is a theory that the government or other aforementioned entities use pop culture as a tool of mass mind control to make the population more accepting of future events. This is the definition given by Ohio State University. This phenomenon was first described by researcher Alan Watt, who defines the concept as “the exercise of a psychological task through the media to make the public aware of planned social changes that will be introduced by our leaders. If and when these changes are implemented, the public will already be familiar with them and will accept them as natural extensions, thereby reducing possible public resistance”. It was then popularized by famous American conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and David Icke. The most famous use of this theory are examples of “predictions” from the series “The Simpsons”. They say that the authors of the animated series know something, and that’s why they “predicted”, in particular, Trump’s presidency, Biden’s reign, and even an attempted insurrection in the United States in 2021.

Scientists do not consider the theory of “subconscious programming” to be unfounded, since there are several contradictions when considering the possibility of such an influence. However, this theory has been refuted by scientists because, unlike the claims of conspiracy theorists about a guaranteed desired reaction, in fact the reaction of the subconscious is not so predictable. Additionally, while conspiracy theorists try to present this concept in a purely negative light, in fact this type of programming can also be used for positive purposes, such as reducing the trauma of a population from a tragedy.

Propagandists use this theory by spreading either existing examples or inventing examples of “subconscious programming” related to Ukraine. For example, at one time a fake was invented that “The Simpsons” supposedly foresaw a war in Ukraine. They do this to strengthen their narrative that the West allegedly planned the war long ago and provoked Russia into it. Like, there is no point in doing anything, since everything has already been decided for us a long time ago. In this way they give the false impression that democracy does not work and that wars or global tragedies are actually planned in advance to increase support for ineffective governments.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: The Taylor Swift Pentagon spy theory

Propagandists are trying to destabilize the situation in the world by supporting various conspiracy movements and using them as part of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Often, conspiracy theories are created based on popular figures. An example of this is the theory that American singer Taylor Swift is allegedly a Pentagon spy and that she “fights against disinformation” with her songs.

In January, on FOX NEWS' Jesse Watters Primetime, host Jesse Watters asked viewers how they thought Swift became so popular. Noting that he had no evidence, he theorized: “About four years ago, the Pentagon's psy-ops team was considering turning Taylor Swift into a tool during a NATO meeting. What kind of tool? A psy-op to combat online disinformation”. He called her a psy-op, a person secretly involved in psychological operations, usually hired by the government, military or police to influence the beliefs, emotions and behavior of the masses. Watters showed a video of someone talking about Swift's influence, commenting: “Yes, this is real. The Pentagon's psychological task force suggested that NATO turn Taylor Swift into a tool to help the Biden administration”. The presenter repeatedly disseminated narratives about the war in Ukraine, consonant with, for example, calling it a “proxy war”.

In fact, the video was taken from an academic conference on disinformation organized by NATO in 2019. The woman who spoke—Alicia Marie Bargar—was not a Pentagon official or associated with NATO, but an engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Bargar told Business Insider that her words were taken out of context. She discussed cybersecurity challenges and used Swift as “a random example of a famous person to explain the concept of social media analytics to an audience”.

A Pentagon spokesman commented on the theory to Politico noting, “With this conspiracy theory, we're going to shake it off”, a reference to Taylor Swift's song Shake It off.

This theory did not come out of thin air. Right-wing commentators in the United States blamed Swift for the key defeats of Republican politicians. Although Swift did not endorse any candidate in this election, she publicly supported Biden in 2020 and reminded her fans to vote in 2022.

After Swift was named a Person of the Year 2023 by the TIME Magazine's, similar allegations resurfaced from conservative commentators that she was part of a larger election conspiracy. Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller said Swift's fame “is not organic”. Far Hand activist Laura Loomer said Swift is “who Democrats are counting on to interfere in the 2024 presidential election”. Anonymous telegram channels that spread pro-Russian rhetoric also disseminate messages with a similar message.

Russian propagandists use this theory to try to interfere in domestic American politics and neutralize the influence of American popular culture in Europe. In addition, in this way they support people committed to the Russian worldview in American political circles.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

For years, propagandists have been trying to explain current events with conspiracy theories, trying to shift responsibility for problems with real political actors to imaginary “world governments”. Some of these theories go back to the century before last, such as the well-known falsification of the late 19th - early 20th centuries called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

This text was first published in 1903 in the Russian Empire, although it existed in handwritten versions earlier. It outlines the types of plans of a certain Jewish organization to establish world domination. The real authorship of the text is unknown; certain parts of it were copied from ancient pamphlets, thus it is a compilation of conspiracy theories of the anti-Semitic ideas of that time.

Why did such a “document” gain popularity in Russia? The main theses of the imaginary plan of the Jews are the use of various ideologies, from Nietzscheanism to communism, to undermine the “traditional” foundations of society that interfere with the establishment of world domination. The main enemies of Jews and Masons, according to the “Protocols”, are the institutions of the Catholic papacy and the Russian autocracy. This view of political and social processes suited Russian monarchist conservatives, who defended the tsar as the only real obstacle to the “satanic forces” to seize power.

Modern Russian propaganda does not use the Protocols, although conspiratorial anti-Semitism in general often appears even in the expressions of senior representatives of the Putin regime, not to mention more marginal propagandists. However, it can be noted that the approach of conspiracy theories has not changed. Also, modern “evil”, from Ukrainian “Nazism” to Western “cultural Marxism”, seeks to destroy “everything good” that exists in the world, and the only one who “resists” this is the Russian Tsar, who is now called the president. Now, it seems that instead of the conditional Jews of the world, a conditional “global government” threatens the world.

With this primitive technique, propagandists strive to achieve two goals. Firstly, shift responsibility for public problems from real representatives of power, primarily the same tsar-president, who has been in power for decades, to someone else. Secondly, to rally the population around the “traditional” authorities, because they are supposedly the only ones who can protect against growing problems (in fact, inspired by this government). However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion did not help the Russian Tsar and his propagandists retain power. From their example, one can clearly see that conspiracy theories are not capable of resolving social contradictions, and authoritarian regimes often fall suddenly and harshly, primarily for their leaders.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: “Pastel QAnon”

Propagandists have been trying to destabilize the situation in the world for years by supporting various conspiracy movements. An example of this is the situation with “pastel QAnon”.

QAnon, as we have previously written, is an active American conspiracy and political movement centered around the baseless claims of an anonymous person or persons known as Q. In their statements, they claim that there is a certain secret organization of satanic cannibals involved in sexual abuse of children. Allegedly, it is in charge of the global process of child trafficking and coordinated the conspiracy against former US President Donald Trump.

“Pastel QAnon” is a set of tactics and strategies that use “soft” aesthetic elements, particularly pastel colors, to attract additional audiences to the QAnon conspiracy theory. This phenomenon often unfolds on major social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and YouTube.

Social media influencers associated with “pastel QAnon” focus on aspects of QAnon theory that appeal to maternal instincts, particularly issues about preventing child sexual abuse and human trafficking. They use an emotional and engaged presentation, which is popular among influencers in the field of health, yoga and new age. The term was coined by Marc-André Argentino, a researcher at Concordia University in Canada.

QAnon fans have moved from encrypted pages and anonymous forums to major platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. “Pastel QAnon” uses them to spread messages about child “protection”, child trafficking, health and other topics. They exemplify what the movement is about. The presentation is deliberately done using an informal style. Posts do not always indicate their views on QAnon, and their authors often deny any ties to the movement but promote the same conspiracy theories as QAnon. Often this is done by using already existing popular hashtags, distorting the meaning of the original intentions of their creation and the efforts of organizations involved in combating human trafficking. This is the situation with the #SaveTheChildren hashtag, which was used by QAnon activists.

Pastel QAnon uses soft aesthetic elements such as pastel colors, glitter effects, washed out colors, strokes, illustrations of nature, fashion, makeup, and the language of spiritual and motivational quotes. This visual aesthetic includes elements that are familiar to target groups due to their popularity in product and service advertising, which contributes to its appeal among the audience.

Russia not only supports the development of this movement in a foreign context, but also uses it or similar tactics in its propaganda. This approach was used to create visual materials for last year's protests against the President of Ukraine in Odesa. Then Russians created an information campaign to protest rolling blackouts.

In addition, propagandists often use spiritual quotes in their materials on Russian aggression against Ukraine and soft visual aesthetics. This is done in order to spread your messages among those who find the usual presentation style too aggressive. This is also used by Russian propagandists working abroad.

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.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the theory of the “Dulles Plan”

Propagandists have been trying to explain current events through conspiracy theories for years, trying to justify the crimes of the Russians. The theory of the Dulles Plan is also used for this purpose.

This “plan” is the US strategy towards the USSR adopted during the Cold War. According to the theory, it provided for a hidden moral breakdown of the population of the USSR. The idea is credited to Allen Dulles, head of the CIA from 1953-1961. According to supporters of the theory, the goal of the “plan” was supposedly the destruction of the USSR due to propaganda aimed at separating nationalities and social groups, destroying the traditions and moral values of the population. In particular, due to political jokes and quarrels between generations. In their opinion, the plan operates against Russia even after the collapse of the USSR.

However, the authenticity of the Dulles Plan is questionable. The text, which appears to be a “plan”, first appeared in a Russian publication in the early 1990s and is an edited excerpt from A. S. Ivanov’s novel “Eternal Call”. In the summer of 2015, this text was recognized as extremist material in Russia. Propagandists also use the term Dulles Plan to describe extracts from the US National Security Council Memorandum 20/1 of 1948. However, this memorandum has nothing to do with Dulles and the CIA, and also does not imply the moral decay of society. In particular, the “peaceful goals” of the memorandum provide for “Reducing the power and influence of Moscow to such extent that they no longer pose a threat to the peace and stability of the international community” and “to achieve fundamental changes in the theory and practice of international relations observed by the government in power in Russia”. 

Although the text of the Dulles Plan is not real and contradicts American policy towards the USSR at that time, its influence on Russian consciousness is significant. This is evidenced by the fact that the theory was used by the majority of Russian politicians, and now propagandists have also adopted it in the context of a full-scale Russian invasion.

They use it to not only justify the war against Ukraine, but also to provide an image of victimhood. They say that Russia had no other choice but to attack Ukraine, since the West wanted to destroy it. In addition, in this way they want to rewrite history and devalue the independence of the former republics of the Soviet Union. Allegedly, the collapse of the USSR was artificially inspired, and accordingly, it should not happen. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union is a natural process, primarily due to economic problems caused by the failed policies of the party leadership and the neglect of the specifics of each of the union republics for the whims of Moscow.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: The Alaska Payment Conspiracy Theory

Propagandists have been trying to explain current events using conspiracy theories for years, trying to justify the crimes of the Russians. Sometimes they use the most absurd theories for this, such as the “Alaskan payment conspiracy” or “Orkney conspiracy” theory.

According to it, the Russian Empire allegedly never received payment for the purchase of Alaska from the United States, and instead the ship Orkney, allegedly carrying payment in the form of gold, was deliberately blown up with insurance money by Oleksandr ‘Sandy’ Keith, a conman and expert on explosions. They say Orkney sank in the Baltic Sea while transporting payment to St. Petersburg from London. Oleksandr Keith, who went by several aliases including William Thompson, had previously blown up ships to claim insurance money in Europe. Russian politician Volodymyr Zhyrynovskyi of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party has repeatedly made these allegations, as well as allegations of bribery related to the purchase agreement.

The theory was disproved. Firstly, the fact that Russia did receive the money is evidenced by the fact that it was then spent on building railway junctions throughout the country. Secondly, according to the conspiracy theory, Orkney was blown up on the date when the money was supposed to be sent. It is stated that the ship sank in the middle of July 1868, when payment was supposed to be delivered on August 1, 1868. Additionally, there is no record of the disappearance of a ship named Orkney, only a similar ship called the Orkney Lass, which, according to post-event reports, was still in service and was probably bound for South America that year rather than St. Petersburg. Gold has never been found in the Baltic Sea either.

Russian propagandists use this theory as one of the first examples of how the West allegedly constantly wanted to deceive Russia. In addition, a number of Russian propagandists and high-ranking officials, appealing to this theory, have repeatedly threatened the United States with military intervention in Alaska, since within the framework of the theory this territory continues to remain Russian. They say that Russia has the right to this, since it did not receive money for it at the time. In addition, they also want to justify the “struggle against the West and Western values”. Russia is victimizing itself by reinforcing the myth that the West constantly wants to destroy it using such theories.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and in the world: Theory of “Chemical Emissions”

Propagandists have been trying to explain current events using conspiracy theories for years, trying to justify the crimes of the Russians. An example of this is the theory of “chemical emissions”.

According to it, various types of chemical weapons have been allegedly being cut over Ukraine for years from special helicopters without identification marks. They say that rich countries are testing harmful chemicals on residents of developing countries. That is why there is a headache, burning eyes, and sore legs. Before the full-scale invasion, some conspiracy theorists tried to explain the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. This theory combines conspiracy theories of the “new world order” and the “golden billion”. In both of them, people are mocked in order to entrench a world order that benefits only the elites, the richest and most privileged representatives of humanity.

Russian propagandists use this theory in the context of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory. In particular, they claim that NATO and Ukrainian troops allegedly use chemical weapons against civilians, although this has never been confirmed. To strengthen this theory, the Russians spread fakes they created about supposedly found chemicals with American labeling in different places of the country.

Thus, Russia wants to shift responsibility for its actions and their consequences to other parties and divert attention from possible provocations on its part. Like, it must be said that Ukraine is doing something so that they don’t think about it while it continues its aggression against Ukraine.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the theory of the “golden billion”

Propagandists have been trying to explain current events through conspiracy theories for years, masking their hostility towards Western states with conspiracies. An example of this is the theory of the “golden billion”.

The theory was invented in Russia. It first appeared in articles by the Soviet conspiracy theorist A. Kuzmich in the late 80s of the twentieth century. According to it, “Western elites” are trying in various ways to redistribute world wealth in favor of the one billion population of the Earth, mainly Western countries. Another version says that according to the plan of the elites, only one billion people should remain on the planet. They say that this is why in the West they “propagate” LGBT people, and force them to eat insects and refuse animal products, and also why wars occur. The theory of the “golden billion” is closely intertwined with the theory of the “new world order”, which we wrote about earlier. According to it, the world elites deliberately consistently make the world worse in various forms.

Russian propagandists use the theory of the “golden billion” to explain almost every decision of the governments of Western countries, which in one way or another contradicts established norms and traditions in Russia. Any progressive idea in their messages turns into a global threat, and Russia turns into the savior of the world from such bad ideas. It is obvious that the war in Ukraine for them is also the result of the actions of the West. In addition, they are trying to justify all Russia’s failures with the “golden billion” theory. They say it has a bad economy because the West wants to destroy all Russians. It is no coincidence that the theory arose against the backdrop of the economic crisis in Russia.

By using the “golden billion” theory, Russia wants to erase the sense of reality and reinforce the image of the victim in this situation. In addition, it tries to shift responsibility for its actions from the aggressor to the victim of aggression and its partners. All this helps Russia maintain the narrative of an ideological war with the West and justify aggression against Ukraine as a “fight for real values”.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the theory of “false flag operations”

Propagandists try to explain current events using conspiracy theories, distorting the original meaning of certain terms. An example of this is the “false flag operations” theory.

Its original definition is used to describe operations that the enemy is falsely accused of committing in order to initiate or revive hostilities. Such operations have indeed occurred throughout history, especially during World Wars I and II, and historians use the term “operations under false flag” in professional literature. Conspiracy theorists have distorted its meaning by using it to describe almost every event in the world. For example, conspiracy theorists argue that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States were allegedly carried out by the American government, and not by terrorists, in order to begin and justify their “War on Terror”, including the invasion of Iraq.

Russian propagandists used the “false flag operations” theory to launch their full-scale invasion of Ukraine. A few days before February 24, 2022, Russian state media claimed that Ukraine was allegedly preparing an attack on Russian territories in order to start a war against Russia. After Russia attacked Ukraine, conspiracy theorists and propagandists claim that Russia was allegedly framed and the invasion was allegedly staged. Like, it was not Russia that attacked Ukraine, but the West that attacked Russia in Ukraine.

By using the theory of “false flag operations”, Russia wants to erase the sense of reality and make people doubt everything that is happening around them. In addition, in this way they are trying to shift responsibility for military aggression onto others in order to reinforce the image of “Victim Russia” cultivated by propagandists. This theory is an example of how Russian propaganda distorts the meaning of terms to obscure the information space.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the “crisis actor” theory

Propagandists try to explain current events using conspiracy theories, even when it comes to air attacks by the Russian military on civilian infrastructure. They are trying to justify them by what in the West is called the “crisis actor” theory.

According to it, most of the crisis situations (shootings or terrorist attacks) occurring in the world are supposedly staged. They say that those in power scare the population with such things for political purposes. For example, conspiracy theorists tried to devalue the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 or school shootings in this way. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the founder of the InfoWars portal, called the Sandy Hook school shooting a “staged act” and the relatives of the victims “hired actors” (hence it is called the “crisis actor” theory). He called for death threats against them, which resulted in victims’ relatives receiving numerous calls and messages from users of the site. They teamed up and filed a lawsuit against Jones, as a result of which InfoWars was closed, and Jones was forced to pay huge monetary compensation to the families of the victims, which is why he declared bankruptcy.

Propagandists use this theory to justify Russian terrorist attacks on civilian infrastructure. They call almost every high-profile terrorist attack a staging, for example, the attack on the cathedral in Odesa. Moreover, Russian officials also call the events in Bucha and other (de)occupied territories “staged”. To support this, they take elements of videos or photographs out of context or resort to Photoshop. It is interesting that Russia has used this theory before, in particular to explain the events of the Yugoslav War. For example, Russia still claims that the difference in the Albanian village of Racak was allegedly staged, which it appeals to during statements on the topic of its aggression against Ukraine. Even despite the fact that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia admitted that something really happened and convicted the then head of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic, as well as his henchmen, for it.

Using this theory, Russia wants to avoid responsibility for its crimes. They say that everyone only wants to denigrate Russia, that’s why they come up with the idea that it kills people. However, a number of projects that help document these crimes disprove this theory and provide important evidence for holding Russia accountable in the future.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain the events in Ukraine and the world: “Ukropolin”

Propagandists are trying to adapt their messages to audiences in different states. One of the newest attempts at such adaptation is the conspiracy theory about Ukropolin. It is being promoted to a Polish audience.

According to this conspiracy theory, the Polish government is preparing the Poles for the “absorption” of Poland by Ukraine and the emergence of the “Ukropolin” state.

“Ukrpolin” is an evolution of the “Polin” project, a variation of the so-called world Jewish conspiracy. The history of the conspiracy theory about Polina dates back to 1989. Then, in the first after 1945 elections in Poland, supporters of the Solidarity trade union came to power. Conspiracy theorists, however, decided that “Polin” had arisen, a state led by Germany and Israel (Polin is the Jewish name for Poland). Polina conspiracy theorists also believe that the POLIN Jewish History Museum is involved in this process.

In the case of Ukropolin, propagandists scare the Poles with the loss of their statehood. To do this, they take the news out of context or come up with evidence of the gradual absorption of Polish space by Ukrainians. For example, they publish an unknown list of first-year students of a technical school specializing in “automobile technician”, where only two Polish names and surnames are indicated, and all the rest are Ukrainian.

“Two Poles and other Ukrainians in the first year of an automotive technical school? Is it still Poland or Ukropolin?” - note the authors of the message.

Using this conspiracy theory, the Russians are trying to quarrel with the Poles among themselves. They mention “Ukrpolin” in any context. For example, here is how a Polish pro-Russian telegram channel presented a meeting between the leader of the United Left of Poland, Robert Biedron, and the then Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, in April 2023, about free abortions for Poles in Finland:

“Superrrr! We will kill more Poles and do it voluntarily, the most important thing is to kill them as much as possible, send them to war like cannon fodder, then make women disappointed, dress openly and go right and left, and then we will finance their abortions, and in the end we will take their country and make Ukropolin ... 

Probably, the Russians are trying to influence the perception of Ukraine by the Poles with such inventions and reduce the level of assistance to Ukraine from Poland. Currently, the level of support for Ukraine by the Polish society remains the highest among European countries. Therefore, in order to change this, the Poles are trying to cause fear for their country and skepticism towards the Ukrainians. Like, there are already so many Ukrainians in Poland that Poland is gradually turning into another region of Ukraine. This is yet another example of how conspiracy theories can deepen social divisions and fuel hatred against ethnic groups.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the “Ukraine-puppet” theory

Propagandists constantly repeat that Ukraine does not have its own statehood and that it is led either by the United States of America or other forces. And if someone uses this only as a political metaphor, then there are people who really believe that the Ukrainian government and state are only an appearance.

Other conspiracy theories are mixed in this theory: about the “world government”, the “Jewish conspiracy” and the “evil West”. Conspiracy theorists can talk about “Ukraine-puppet”, relying on one of these theories, and on all at the same time. For example, the assertion that Ukraine is controlled by the UN is not very common. While there are many more who support the thesis, it seems that Israel or the “government of the Jewish conspiracy” leads Ukraine, since its president and a number of representatives of the political and financial elite are somehow connected with Israel. Proponents of this conspiracy theory of “puppet Ukraine” are spreading anti-Semitism by foisting unsubstantiated accusations against Jews on their audiences. In general, conspiracy theorists believe that Ukraine is run by anyone, even reptilians, but not Ukrainians. Thus, they undermine the subjectivity of the Ukrainian state in order to build propaganda messages on this conspiracy theory.

The “puppet Ukraine” theory has its roots in Soviet times and is linked to a lack of information about the work of state bodies. Soviet citizens were not explained how the political system works. Accordingly, “in the kitchens” they began to come up with various theories and explanations of what is happening in the state. Subsequently, with the collapse of the USSR, the same Russians began to look for an excuse for poverty and the failure of a number of reforms in their state, and therefore began to believe that in fact Russia, Ukraine, Poland and other post-Soviet and post-socialist states are, as it were, projects of the West, which seems to be taking from the newest countries all resources. With technological development, and especially the emergence of such messengers as Telegram, kitchen conversations moved into the information space, and Russian anonymous telegram channels replaced knowledge about how the state works with their insiders. Moreover, there is a conspiracy theory that Russia under President Borys Yeltsyn was a project of the West. In particular, Russian media disseminate articles that the reforms of the first decade after 1991 were aimed at destroying the Russian economy and statehood. It seems that the collapse of the USSR was also planned by the West, and Yeltsyn's policy was the next step in the plan for the collapse of Russia.

By spreading such conspiracy theories, Russia wants to make Ukrainians believe they are inferior. Thus, it also justifies its aggression: transfers responsibility for it to other forces or claims that the aggression is justified, because the Ukrainian state does not seem to exist. In fact, despite the assertions of conspiracy theorists, Russia remains an independent subject of international relations, which puts its own interests above the interests of others. Russia baselessly attacked Ukraine to satisfy its imperial ambitions. Detector Media has repeatedly written about the use of this theory as the basis for new fakes.

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.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: Illuminati

In the previous texts of this section, we talked about different types of “world government” according to conspiracy theorists. The Illuminati differ from them in that they have a true history, since this group actually existed. It was created in 1776 in Bavaria (Germany) as a secret society that professed the ideas of the Enlightenment. In particular, a triangle with an eye in it on dollars is a symbol created specifically by the Illuminati. However, the group was subsequently exposed and decided to officially dissolve itself, as it wanted to operate underground.

Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, point out that the Illuminati supposedly actually exist and rule our world right now. The membership of US presidents in the circle of the Illuminati is already a cliché of Western pop culture. This group differs from others in almost nothing except that, according to the adherents of this theory, the Illuminati represent world signs of their existence. Here we are talking about music videos, and about the already mentioned dollars. Also, according to conspiracy theorists, the Illuminati “promote” or “destroy” celebrities and politicians, depending on their affiliation with them. They believe that the electoral process in any country is a fiction, since it is the Illuminati who elect politicians.

Russian propagandists use this theory primarily to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine. Like, Russia is fighting against world elites who want to destroy all intercultural differences and control the consciousness of society. Of course, one cannot do without attributing Joe Biden to the Illuminati cohort and calling the war a provocation or an Illuminati plan. In this sense, the theory of the Illuminati intersects with those that we talked about earlier.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: QAnon

As we noted in the previous text of the section, conspiracy theories gained more importance and influence on politics during the presidential term of Donald Trump. It was he who repeatedly publicly supported all sorts of conspiracy theories and used the platforms of conspiracy theorists for his election campaigns. As a result, Russian propagandists have become more active in spreading conspiracy theories, using Trump's statements as false verification. The most powerful of these platforms is the conspiracy theory system called QAnon.

The political movement and conspiracy theory system QAnon emerged in 2017. Its name is associated with the history of origin. On the 4chan imageboard, a user named Q posted a series of messages in which he claimed to have access to classified information about Donald Trump's work as president. Subsequently, the user completely switched to 8chan, where the theory gained the most distribution.

The core message of the QAnon movement is that “a cabal of satanists, cannibals and pedophiles” is running “the global child trafficking market”. QAnon is a movement because it combines a number of different theories. In particular, in this case we are talking about the theory of “pizzagate” (democrats rape children in restaurants), but QAnon adds to it the image of Trump as a fighter against this phenomenon.

Supporters of the movement believe that the 45th president personally arrested members of the “cabal”, among whom allegedly were US Democratic Party politicians, business representatives and even medical specialists. Recalling the theory of “Ukrainian interference” in the 2016 US presidential election, QAnon promotes the idea that Donald Trump allegedly deliberately approved the version of the Russian origin of this interference and turned a blind eye to Ukrainian interference. All to engage Special Investigative Counsel Robert Mueller to expose the “child trafficking market” and prevent the “military coup” allegedly planned by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros.

QAnon is also considered an anti-Semitic movement due to its fixation on Soros and the Rothschild family. The movement gained momentum during the coronavirus pandemic as its supporters around the world protested most vigorously against vaccinations and quarantines. However, the attempt to forcibly capture the American Capitol on January 6, 2021 is considered the peak of QAnon. After it, large Internet platforms began to massively block accounts associated with the movement, because through them events were broadcast or calls to join illegal actions were broadcast.

Even so, the movement remains globally active and does not stop trying to explain Russia's war against Ukraine in its own way. In particular, QAnon representatives consider Russian aggression part of a global conspiracy to expand “the market for children and American weapons”. In addition, in these discussions, Ukraine plays the role of a rather lost sister - QAnon considers Russia's claims about the “danger” of Ukraine's membership in NATO to be fully justified and support the version that Ukraine provoked a war. Such messages can be seen, for example, at regular rallies for neutrality in Vienna, where supporters of the movement oppose both child trafficking and vaccination. At the same time, Ukraine is accused of playing along with the “pedophile satanic bondage”.

Russian propagandists actively use the property of QAnon. In particular, they duplicate the narratives of the movement and distort them for themselves depending on the situation. Like, for example, with a fake about a documentary about child trafficking in Ukraine, which Mel Gibson allegedly agreed to film. This was especially relevant in connection with the arrest of Donald Trump - anonymous pro-Russian telegram channels have already begun to complain about the American judicial system. Like, this is how pedophile democrats destroy political competitors. At the same time, they add stamps of movement on Trump's face. Despite the fact that all theses have been repeatedly refuted, this does not interfere with QAnon.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain developments in Ukraine and the world: theories about Ukraine supported by Donald Trump

Conspiracy theories have gained more importance and influence in politics during Donald Trump's presidential term. It was he who repeatedly publicly supported all sorts of conspiracy theories and used the platforms of conspiracy theorists for his election campaigns. With his official submission, Russian propagandists began to spread them more actively, using his statements as a false verification of those theories that strengthened the Kremlin narratives.

Trump actively used the “Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theory”. Its fans believe that Joe Biden, during his tenure as vice president of the United States, allegedly tried to hush up his son Gunther's corrupt deals in the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Like, Biden admits that he even threatened to stop financial assistance to Ukraine if he did not save his son from criminal proceedings. However, in fact, several congressional investigations showed that he had the right to stop financial assistance, since it was about the inexpediency of Viktor Shokin's tenure as Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Trump capitalized on this theory when he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to launch an investigation into Gunther Biden in exchange for military and financial assistance. This led to the first impeachment of Donald Trump.

In addition, as part of this scandal, Trump actually created another theory. According to it, Ukraine and its government allegedly deliberately interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to rig the results in favor of then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. They say that the company involved in the analysis of data in the framework of the case of Russian interference in the elections is run by an unknown Ukrainian oligarch (which was refuted), and that it was at his suggestion that Russia was “framed”. However, American intelligence confirmed that it was Russia that interfered in the elections at that time and tried to use Ukraine for its own purposes.

Russian propagandists actively adopted these two theories. Using them, they want to divert attention from their own illegal actions and expose Ukraine as an insanely corrupt and close-minded country that wants to reshape the world order and interfere in the internal affairs of other states. All these messages are now used to justify the war against Ukraine. However, investigations have shown that it is Russia that interferes in US domestic politics and tries to destabilize it in favor of a political actor, which is more favorable to it.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: pizzagate

In the previous texts of the section, we explained the theory of the “new world order” and its anti-Semitic influx. Another theory is often associated with the theory of the new world order - pizzagate (in the likeness of the name Watergate - the scandal that led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon). According to it, the US Democratic Party and “liberal Hollywood” are conspiring to traffic children for the sexual whims of the elite. Despite the fact that the theory was officially debunked by the Washington police, its supporters still believe that several restaurants in the city are unofficial “meeting places” of the elite, where “juvenile victims” are taken for pedophilia.

The theory arose in 2016, when hackers allegedly gained access to the correspondence of one of the leaders of the campaign program of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Like, it contained the names of various high-ranking party officials, the addresses of the aforementioned restaurants and the names of dishes (for example, pizza and hot dogs). According to conspiracy theorists, these are code names that mask the actions of a pedophilic nature and their victims. The theory quickly spread on social media and on image boards such as 4chan and Reddit, and even led to a shooting near one of the Washington restaurants featured in the correspondence. However, it received a new wave of popularity in 2020 after the release of the music video for the Justin Bieber song Yummy, where conspiracy theorists saw hidden meanings associated with the “joys of the rich”.  Fragments of the clip with explanations of these messages became viral on TikTok, and the theory itself became the basis for the creation of QAnon. Now its members associate all members of the Democratic Party with pedophilia. The current president of the state, Joe Biden, is no exception.

Russia also refers to this theory in its propaganda. For example, one can find messages that equate almost every Biden movement or word in children with manifestations of pedophilia. In addition, one can often see panic in the media spreading pro-Russian rhetoric that the Democratic Party is allegedly trying by all means to legalize pedophilia and drags Ukraine into all this. Propagandists and American conservative figures often pin the image of a pedophile on Joe Biden also because of the alleged illegal sexual relations of his son Hunter Biden with minors. In particular, this is due to the “Hunter Biden laptop showers”, when hackers allegedly gained access to the cloud storage of his device and leaked photos and videos to the network in which he allegedly has sex with underage girls. They were tried to be used against his father during the election campaign before the presidential elections in 2020 and were actively distributed in the pro-Russian media. Since Hunter Biden's past is closely connected with Ukraine, these reports did not bypass the reproaches that Ukrainian justice is still allegedly keeping a pedophile at large, because it cannot go against “the will of its overseas masters”.

Propagandists use it in their rhetoric to justify their war against the Western value system. Like, Russia is fighting for true spiritual purity, because America is rotten through and through, and the victims of this are children. In addition, in this way, they want to devalue Biden's help for Ukraine. It seems that with the war he covers up the crimes of himself and his family, and therefore he always helps. It is also important for Russia to use existing methods to destabilize the domestic political situation in the United States in order to persuade the public to support its policies. They want to distrust the “pedophile president” and shift the political balance in favor of the “actor”, which, in their opinion, will be more favorable to Russia.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, propagandists have begun to explain more and more things using conspiracy theories. As a consequence, even the smartest people can be questioned by conspiracy theories in today's turbulent world. That is why, in this new section, Detector Media will briefly explain the history and essence of individual conspiracy theories. We will tell you how and for what purpose they use them in Russian propaganda.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain the events in Ukraine and the world: “The new world order”

A conspiracy theory is an attempt to explain events or situations with the help of a conspiracy allegedly created by an influential political or financial group, even if there is an official and confirmed version of events. The term has a negative connotation, and the phenomenon of conspiracy theories has become more important, especially in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine.

One of the conspiracy theories that is now emerging within the framework of Russian propaganda is the “new world order” theory. The phrase “world government” or “global government” indicates the use of the “new world order” theory, as they are the more popular name for the theory. It is not new and originated in the United States in the twentieth century. The theory acquired its modern forms in the 90s, when it became the basis for the work of American right-wing radical and conservative Christian forces. The theory of the “new world order” acquired a new scope at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, when it penetrated into popular culture, thanks to which it became widespread.

The theory has a number of branches, but in this article we will focus on the apocalyptic direction. According to it, the world is led by an allegedly totalitarian global government that wants to either destroy the world completely or leave only the “golden billion” on it. That is, a billion people who have passed all the tests. According to propagandists, the war against Ukraine is one of those tests. In the case of this theory, “stages” are important, because according to the position of conspiracy theorists, the “world government” destroys humanity gradually. For example, on anonymous telegram channels spreading pro-Russian rhetoric, one can see messages that the war in Ukraine is just a new stage in the “world government” plan to destroy humanity. Its echo could also be heard from the lips of the parishioners of the UOC-MP. Representatives of the confession often say that Western elites are destroying Ukraine.

Also, over time, opinions about who is in the “world government” have changed. The following versions are popular among conspiracy theorists:

the world government is the UN and the EU (in particular, black helicopters are considered one of the symbols of this theory in Western culture, since, according to conspiracy theorists, the world government is preparing to seize the territory of the United States (or any other country, given the target audience of the source)) with the help of UN peacekeepers arriving on them);

it is a corporation that includes the richest people on the planet;

this is a satanic force led by the Antichrist and bringing the end of the world closer (according to conspiracy theorists, the role of the Antichrist can be played by the last Pope, the President of the EU, the Secretary General of the UN, one of the heads of a Muslim state, the head of an international corporation, etc.).

In addition, the “world government” can be made up of Illuminati (Illuminati branch), Masonic (Masonic branch) or Jews (Zionist branch).

The theory has received a lot of criticism from Christians in the West because they believe it cultivates a “spirit of fear” and is not backed up by biblical texts.

Propagandists use it in their rhetoric to cause panic among people and doubts about what is happening around. In fact, in this way they want to “hush” the information space and shift the responsibility for the actions of the aggressor to a third force. Like, Russia has nothing to do with it, these are all the tricks of the “world government” that wants to destroy everyone. In the countries of the post-Soviet space, conspiracy theories associated with politics work even better, considering the lack of public access to information about political processes in the past.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, propagandists have begun to explain more and more things using conspiracy theories. As a consequence, even the smartest people can be questioned by conspiracy theories in today's turbulent world. That is why, in this new section,  Detector Media will briefly explain the history and essence of individual conspiracy theories. We will talk on how and for what purpose they use them in Russian propaganda.