In Germany, too, there are people who believe Putin’s propaganda in the war between Russia and Ukraine. A study gives details.
Frankfurt – The war in Ukraine, triggered by the Russian invasion, is also taking place via information. The parties involved each try to spread their own narratives. Even if Vladimir Putin’s statements are repeatedly portrayed as false by historians and experts, many people in Germany believe in Russia’s perspective. Who are these people?
In addition to the statement that Ukraine historically belongs to Russia, the conspiracy narratives of Putin in the Ukraine war also include the narrative of “denazification” as a justification for the invasion. However, even before the Ukraine conflict escalated, Russia was disseminating certain information outside its own borders to further its interests. A current study now shows which groups of people in Germany are particularly vulnerable.
Ukraine News: Putin’s propaganda at war – study examines vulnerability in Germany
The authors of the study examined the vulnerability of certain people to Russian propaganda. The 2303 participants were asked questions on topics that are presented differently by Russia and the West. Some people were presented with the Russian narrative, others with the Western one. The participants were then asked to give their opinion on the topic. One example is the question of the eastward expansion of NATO. While some participants were told that this could lead to regional conflicts, others said that this measure was to support allies in the face of the Ukraine war.
Ukraine News: Study examines who in Germany believes in Putin’s propaganda
Of those who were presented with the Western narrative, 27 percent rated NATO positively, while 28 percent condemned the increased presence in the East. Of the groups exposed to the Russian narrative, only 16 percent approved of the coalition’s activities, with 39 percent opposed.
In their study, the authors come to the conclusion that certain groups of people are more susceptible to anti-democratic narratives about Russia. This primarily includes people who believe in conspiracy stories and have little political knowledge. Even people with little faith in the government of Germany and a general alienation from or dissatisfaction with democracy are open to Russian propaganda. Disclosing the source of the various narratives had, to the authors’ surprise, little impact on susceptibility to propaganda. (vbu)
List of rubrics: © Alexei Nikolsky/dpa