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The recent meeting between Erdogan and Zelensky seems to have infuriated Russian propagandists so much that they got to their disinfo scribbling immediately.
Pretty much as soon as the leaders of Ukraine and Turkey, Volodymyr Zelensky and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met, a number of Russian, and now also Ukrainian, media launch a storm claiming that the Turkey leader considered the Russian-occupied Crimea peninsula Turkish.
So, these Russian and some unpretentious Ukrainian media refer to an article published by Turkey’s Haberler, which allegedly notes Erdogan’s opinion that Crimea is neither Ukrainian nor Russian, but, in fact, Turkish.
Indeed, this would be worth a diplomatic scandal, becoming a real shocker, revealing Erdogan’s “true views” on Crimea, especially in the context of bilateral relations with Ukraine, had it been not for a very important detail!
The thing is that Turkish journalists, whose piece is now being widely cited, in turn referred to an original story by Russia’s Moskovsky Komsomolets, an outright propaganda platform. In the original piece, author Mikhail Rostovsky reflects on the topic of Turkey’s hypothetical strategy in relation to the post-Soviet countries…
That is, Turkish journos cited a Russian columnist’s oped published by one of the most vocal propaganda platforms before Russian and some narrow-minded Ukrainian media referred to that Turkish outlet, for some reason claiming it is an actual stance of Mr Erdogan on Crimea.
Well, this rumor mill could as well evolve into a diplomatic scandal, right? And most probably, this mill was set up for a certain interested party for a good reason.
The fact is that following a successful meeting between President Zelensky and President Erdogan, Russian propaganda pundits moved to implement a hybrid scenario to compromise the meeting’s outcome and, roughly speaking, to play Kyiv and Ankara off against each other.
Besides, taking into account the fact that during the top level meeting, Turkey’s possible participation in the International “Crimea Platform” was announced, it was precisely the issue of Crimea that was laid down in the core of this psy-op by Russia.
Originating from Moskovsky Komsomolets, the piece was expectedly picked up by one of the foreign resources and it is not surprising that it was a Turkish one because the article was about Erdogan. And only after that was it in turn picked up by Russian media, as well as some pro-Russian and simply short-sighted media in Ukraine, too.
Of course, this once again testifies to the degree of the Kremlin’s concern over the international recognition of Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine, moreover, when such statements are voiced by Recep Erdogan, who is currently beating the Kremlin at almost all fronts.
This adds to Russia’s impotence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in Syria, as well as in Libya. Besides, the Kremlin is visibly irritated over the tangible growth of military-technical cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine.
Therefore, in the near future, Russian propaganda will clearly bet on sowing splits between Ukraine and Turkey, so this spin was only the first attempt in the context of the Kremlin’s new strategy.