Almost one in five Germans – 19% – believe that NATO provoked Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to a recent study. This is up from 12% in April.
As the study suggests, pro-Russian propaganda offers a distorted context, where the US is fundamentally denigrated and Russia is glorified. Anti-democratic actors such as the right-wing AfD party also spread disinformation to shake confidence in democracy, the authors conclude.
This works, given that an additional 21% partially believe that NATO is to blame for Russia’s war. What could be a practical outcome of such disinfo? One result: sceptics tend to be against sanctions.