Throughout the week, Russian propagandists spread disinformation in an attempt to discredit President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Specifically, the Russian propaganda machine claimed that Zelenskyy’s relationship with the Ukrainian army had deteriorated due to persistent military setbacks. Allegedly, this is the reason behind Zelenskyy’s feelings of frustration and anger. The reports also added that Zelenskyy was losing his authority and power. However, the Russian propaganda machine did not provide any evidence or explain what defeats they were talking about. It also spread messages that fueled the narrative that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a puppet of the West. In particular, propagandists claimed that Zelenskyy could have ended the war back in February.
Allegedly, he could have held talks with Putin during the Beijing Olympics, thus preventing the start of the full-scale invasion. But the “collective West” allegedly forbade Zelenskyy to attend the Beijing Olympics because it “had its own plans for Ukraine”. From the very beginning, Russian propaganda has been trying to shift the responsibility for the war onto Ukraine and its leadership, going as far as denying that it ever attacked Ukraine.