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As we know, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky went on an official visit to Turkey. Ahead of his visit, an “Attempt No. 2” was made by the Kremlin propaganda machine to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of Western partners over the so-called “arms shipments” to Libya. This wave of tarring reports, which, by the way, yielded no actual effect, was based on the news of the destruction of three Ukrainian Il-76TD cargo planes within less than two weeks, of which I wrote in detail throughout this period.
The West did not believe in the narratives Russians tried to attach to the incidents, so the “info meal” suggesting Ukraine’s participation in arms smuggling to Libya was only eaten only by some unicellular consumers of the Russian propaganda’s fast food info.
Nevertheless, the strategy is becoming more obvious of Russian propagandists not only accusing Ukraine of arms smuggling (ranging from North Korea, as it was in 2017, to Libya), but also playing on the tense relations between Ankara and Washington.
Information platforms on Telegram that are affiliated with the Russian invaders span a report claiming that, while on a visit to Turkey, Zelensky agreed with his Turkish counterpart, Mr Erdogan, on an arms swap deal. Namely, Ankara will provide Turkish Altay tanks to Kyiv, while receiving missile developments from the “Yuzhmash” plant in Ukraine.
The spin, which has been taken from thin air, is already gaining popularity among the category “C” media, as it was with “arms smuggling into Libya” at one time, and I won’t be surprised that this topic will be discussed by Federal media in Russia in the coming hours and quickly be grabbed by some of our Ukrainian “reporters”.
Meanwhile, I should note that the alleged agreements scream absurdity. After all, Ukraine, the country with the largest stock of tanks in Europe, as well as with its own production line in Kharkiv, has absolutely no need in Altay tanks, which, by the way, are not accepted for service even in Turkey itself and exist only in the amount of 4 prototype models, which only confirms the absurdity of the published report that has already been picked up by some.
But the point is not even in this absurd topic of deliveries of Altay tanks, but in the fact that the issue of Yuzhmash was raised. After all, it is the mention of this design bureau that should bring confusion into the ranks of our American partners, who are preparing for a serious sanctions standoff with Turkey, in connection with the supply of Russian S-400 air defense systems to Ankara. And, of course, it is connected to Ankara’s desire to ensure undeniable regional leadership, urging it to acquire the most advanced missile technology as soon as possible.
And therefore, yet another attempt to discredit Ukraine is clear. However, as usual, the clumsiness of the draft wishes for the best, which, in principle, plays into our hands, especially since this spin was quickly detected.
Let’s keep watching for the bleating on the issue. But it should be understood that if Russian propaganda reaches its goals in this game, we will definitely lose.