If you lie every day and try on a false role every day, sooner or later you will believe your own lies. This is what happened with the Russians when they threatened other countries with at least the «second army of the world», and propagandists and representatives of the authorities said about Ukraine that everything would be destroyed here in a few days if they wished. The same thing is happening now with regard to the position of the United States in relation to Crimea. The bet on the victory of the Republicans clearly did not work, so the pro-government media are clinging to at least some statements that are minimally correlated with Russian narratives. And it is not so important who voices them in the USA.
A sharp decline in the influence of pro-Russian speakers in the United States
If at the beginning of the full-scale war, American politicians avoided the topic of Crimea, then during the year of Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression, the position changed dramatically. The most telling example: during his visit to Kyiv, US President Joe Biden made it clear that the US would not be against Ukraine returning to the peninsula by military means.
However, Russians continue to be captive to their own illusions. Russian propagandists contrast the positions of the first persons of the American state with the opinions of journalists, creative intelligentsia, athletes, former soldiers, retired representatives of special services, etc. Thus, the main mass media of the Russian Federation actively reported that the American journalist Andrew Napolitano, who was fired from Fox News due to accusations of sexual assault, on his YouTube channel Judging Freedom (117 000 subscribers) spoke categorically against the return of Crimea to Ukraine, citing on certain historical moments, which the journalist interpreted in his own way. In particular, the peninsula became Ukrainian only after a coup organized by the CIA. Here the blogger alludes to a conspiracy theory about the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Russians also really liked the statements of the retired CIA officer Philip Giraldi about the «Ukrainian corruption machine» and the inadmissibility of the further supply of weapons to Ukraine. By the way, he has received criticism for his antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
That is, the Russian mass media broadcasts what the Kremlin cannot declare directly because from the mouths of propagandists from federal channels or officials of the Russian Federation, worries about «money stolen from the Americans» will look quite funny.
Undisputed right to Crimea
The bet of the Russians on the victory of the Republicans in the midterm elections did not work. For example, after Ramstein-8, it was largely thanks to the position of the authoritative Republican Michael McCaul, who is responsible for international policy in the House of Representatives, that it was possible to agree to provide Ukraine with modern American Abrams main battle tanks, and this, in turn, forced Germany to agree to hand over Leopard-2 to Ukraine.
Democrats and Republicans also demonstrated unity on the issue of providing Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. Initially, a group of deputies from the House of Representatives, which included members of both parties, wrote a letter to Joe Biden with a call to provide Ukraine with the mentioned planes. Then their example was followed by members of the Senate — as well as Republicans and Democrats. The only difference: the appeal was made to the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.
All these examples say one thing: there is no broad disagreement among American elites regarding support for Ukraine. And when the US president publicly voices the official position regarding the green light regarding the return of Crimea to the generally recognized borders of 1991, it means that no former representatives of the special services or journalists-bloggers will have any influence on this issue.
The Russian Federation can bring in any number of self-proclaimed opinion leaders, who are sometimes outright fringes with a minimal audience, but the issue is already settled. The position will remain unchanged: everything is in the hands of Ukraine.
Expert opinion: the evolution of the understanding of the «Crimean issue» in the United States
Volodymyr Fesenko, a Ukrainian political scientist and chairman of the board of the Center for Applied Political Research «Penta» comment to «The Ukrainian Review»:
«Previously, the view was this: it is better not to touch the subject of Crimea. And some, for example, like Donald Trump, believed that Crimea was always connected with Russia. But, taking into account the fact that the «deep state» works in the United States, there is an understanding of national interests in both the political and expert circles, even Trump was forced to reckon with it.»
«What did the great war change? After it became clear that Ukraine can defend its sovereignty and liberate the occupied territories, a large part of the American elites came to the conclusion that the liberation of Crimea is possible. They have already started saying that Ukraine «has the right» to liberate Crimea. Previously, this topic was avoided. There is still a part of the elites who believe that the return of the peninsula can be dangerous from the point of view of the presence of nuclear weapons in Russia, but the law still recognizes it. That is, the evolution has taken place, there are still certain fears, but no one denies Ukraine’s right to Crimea.»
Passing off wishful thinking, Russia is driving itself into an illusory world that leads to its defeat. At the same time, Western political elites or societies are not affected by such manipulations by pseudo-experts in any way. It is important that the snowball of lies has already gained such momentum that it cannot stop because otherwise, everything will end here and now. So, being held hostage by its senseless and inept information policy, the Kremlin is showing its latest outbreaks of attacks in the media, confidently moving towards the inevitable end.