Will Propaganda Lead Us Into WW3?

We should always read critically and skeptically, and the news of the Russo-Ukrainian War is no exception.

Taken at face value, this call by the head of Russia’s still-present Communist Party to acknowledge the conflict as an actual war and not a “special military operation” appears to imply that a formal declaration of war and full mobilization of Russia by Putin is imminent.

“For as long as I can remember, there has never been such a situation like this,” Gennady Zyuganov told Russia’s lower house of parliament on September 13. “The special military operation…in Ukraine has turned into a full-fledged war.”

“A war and a special operation differ at their core,” he continued. “A war cannot be ended, even if you want: You take it to the very end, either victory or defeat. The question of victory in the Donbas is the question of our historical requirements, and everyone in this hall should realistically assess the situation.”

Radio Free Europe/RadioLiberty also reported on the Putin-Xi meeting in Uzbekistan as essential for a Russia reeling under sanctions and leaning heavily on China for high-tech imports.

In the face of crippling international sanctions over the Ukraine invasion, Putin has looked to strengthen ties with Beijing, which has avoided criticizing Moscow for the war.

Beijing's support is widely seen as essential for Moscow, which needs markets for its energy exports and sources to import high-tech goods.

However, this must be measured against statements by the Russian Trade Representative to China recently, who stated that China has not greatly ramped up exports into Russia.

But while China is buying more oil, they are not selling more equipment and other finished goods—and Russian sources suggest there is little enthusiasm from China for doing so.

China is in no hurry to intensify its supplies to the Russian Federation. “It is not uncommon for Chinese banks to be extremely cautious about their clients from Russia,” Alexei Dakhnovsky, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the PRC, who spoke at the WEF, explained on Wednesday. “Understanding the origins of this approach, nevertheless, we are convinced that both Russia and China need to intensify the relevant work ... to work towards the creation of a cross-border payment mechanism that is not subject to hostile sanctions,” the trade representative said.

In the same vein, while there undoubtedly war hawks within the Russian government who truly want formal war to be declared with Ukraine, we should be circumspect about their influence over policy with respect to the war.

“Without full mobilization, moving to a war footing, including for the economy, we will not achieve proper results,” Mikhail Sheremet, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party member who sits on the Duma’s Security Committee, said in a radio interview. “I'm talking about the fact that today’s society should be consolidated as much as possible, with the goal of victory.”

Yury Fedorov, an independent Russian military analyst who now lives abroad, told Current Time that a feeling of inevitable defeat is causing panic among some in “the highest circles of the Russian nomenklatura.”

Do not assume that Russia is about to formally declare war on Ukraine or even on NATO. That it remains a possibility does not make it a probability. Watch, listen, and verify everything.