“From Trump supporters to communists.” Who is opposing crucial aid for Ukraine in US?

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During the first year of russia’s full-scale invasion, support from the American people for weapons and funding for Ukraine was crucial to its ability to hold off and push back against russian aggression. Millions of Americans across the political spectrum continue to support Ukraine fervently. Yet, towards the end of 2023, the U.S. government paused its financial and military assistance for six months, write Inna Gadzynska, Serhii Mikhalkov, Mykhailo Tymoshenko, Volodymyr Lytvynov for texty.org.ua.

House Speaker Mike Johnson delayed putting the relevant bills up for a vote for several months despite theoretical bipartisan support. Ultimately, the House of Representatives passed the aid package on April 20, 2024, although Donald Trump’s allies worked vigorously to block it. In the end, 112 Republican members voted against the aid.

The delay has had severe consequences on the Ukrainian front, leading to increased casualties among Ukrainian troops and a gradual retreat by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The events in the U.S. Congress are merely the surface of deeper issues. Numerous NGOs, well-known activists, and political commentators in the U.S. consistently advocate for American isolationism and oppose support for Ukraine.

Their stance is significant in the context of the ongoing war, given Ukraine’s heavy reliance on U.S. assistance, which is increasingly challenging to secure. We’ve identified a broad spectrum of aid opponents, ranging from Trump supporters to communists, and examined their connections. While our research does not cover every public figure opposing aid to Ukraine, it highlights prominent individuals and common arguments that often mirror kremlin propaganda.

A little more than half of the individuals in this sample are right-wing, about one in eight are left-wing, and the rest do not associate themselves with a specific ideological platform. The right-wing individuals are mostly politicians affiliated with the Trump wing of the Republican Party. Most of the left-wing individuals are anti-war activists and left-leaning parties that urge the government to stop funding Ukraine. Most of the media, journalists, experts, and think tanks in this list do not have a clear right or left bias.

Out of these, 50 individuals have collaborated with russian media and government-funded initiatives during russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine (after February 24, 2022). Some have moved to russia and the occupied territories of Ukraine. Around 30 journalists and influencers work as reporters and contributors for russian media and also serve as observers at illegal referendums in russian-occupied territories.

Investors and Venture Capitalists

The technologies from Starlink and Palantir, owned by Elon Musk and Peter Thiel are aiding Ukrainians in their conflict, necessitating an explanation for their inclusion in this list. After Elon Musk acquired the “Twitter” network (now X), russian propaganda significantly ramped up on the platform. He frequently shares with his 187 million followers a highly skeptical view of the United States’ financial support for Ukraine, aligning with russian narratives.

Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal and Palantir, advocates for isolationism in modern US politics and is a key investor in influential Republicans like Blake Masters and J.D. Vance, who are known for blocking aid to Ukraine. In 2021, Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance, and Vivek Ramaswamy invested in the social network Rumble. This platform became an alternative for the then-banned Donald Trump on Twitter and the blocked russian media outlet russia Today (RT) in 2022.

Billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, dubbed “the young Trump,” withdrew from the presidential race to support Trump. They both publicly exchanged compliments and planned to collaborate. Ramaswamy has frequently made headlines with his anti-Ukrainian statements, claiming, “putin was able to seize eastern Ukraine because there was no resistance there like in the rest of Ukraine” because “the eastern regions of Ukraine are russian-speaking and do not even consider themselves part of Ukraine.”

“I think that’s a fictitious scenario for a lot of reasons. Part of the reason putin has been able to seize eastern Ukraine is they have not had the same level of resistance as the rest of Ukraine.”

“The eastern regions of Ukraine are russian speaking and don’t even really view themselves as part of Ukraine … that is why there was no counter-insurgency or resistance.”

Ohio Senator James David Vance joins obstructing support for “Ramaswamy in word and deed” with public statements and votes “against” in the Senate.

On April 20, 2023, Vance, along with 18 other representatives of the US Republican Party, signed a letter to US President Joseph Biden stating that “unlimited US assistance to Ukraine should be terminated” and that the signatories of the letter “we will adamantly oppose all future aid packages unless they are linked to a clear diplomatic strategy designed to bring this war to a rapid conclusion.”

Charles Koch is an American billionaire who is associated with several think tanks like Stand Together, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the Cato Institute, and Concerned Veterans for America, which have taken an isolationist position regarding the russian-Ukrainian war and advocate for not provoking russia, to beware of escalation, and forcing Ukraine to negotiate by limiting military support, etc.

The experts of these think tanks, as well as russian officials, name the US policy toward Ukraine in recent decades and NATO’s eastward expansion as the causes of the russian-Ukrainian war.

Grant Cardone, a training company owner and Scientology supporter who has been accused of fraud on several occasions, has 1.1 million followers on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) and writes many tweets like “Ukraine is the biggest Go Fund scam in history. Stop Funding this war.”

Also on the list is Ben Cohen, co-owner of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company, who funds the Eisenhower Media Network, an organization of military experts and veterans.

Arguments for ending support for Ukraine echo russian propaganda

Most of the people in our study do not have direct, proven ties to the russian government or propagandists. However, the arguments they use to urge authorities to distance themselves from Ukraine echo key messages of russian propaganda aimed at depriving Ukrainians of the ability to defend themselves with Western weapons and funds.

Even long-debunked myths continue to surface, such as claims of Nazi dominance and American Biolabs in Ukraine and the portrayal of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity as a coup.

You can find the complete list of identified narratives and their debunking here.

Peterson, putin, and Christian Values

In mid-2022, following the devastation of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine by russian forces, Jordan Peterson, a widely followed Canadian psychologist, and fan of Dostoevsky who was treated in moscow for six months in 2020, rationalized putin’s attack on Ukraine as a defense of traditional Christian values against the corrosive impact of Western culture. This narrative aligns with the explanations provided by russian officials to their domestic audience.

“Away from the Abyss”

“There is no declared russian war aim beyond installing a friendlier government in Kyiv that rules out future NATO membership,” reassured the Western audience by historian Sean McMeekin, a Stanford University alumnus, in May 2023 in the American conservative magazine Compact. In the same month, russia launched numerous modern missiles and hundreds of drones at “unfriendly” Kyiv.

One of the inaugural articles in this magazine, established in March 2022, is “Away from the Abyss.” This editorial, co-signed by the magazine’s founders and thirty other experts, cautions the US government against meddling, escalating tensions, or attempting to topple the russian regime. Signatories include Dan Caldwell, director of the Stand Together Foundation funded by billionaire Charles Koch, American university professors, and other journalists.

On the day this article was published, March 31, 2022, the russian military withdrew from Bucha, a town about ten kilometers northwest of Kyiv, after a 33-day occupation that resulted in over 600 civilian deaths.

These two cases clearly illustrate how many influential figures, lacking a deep understanding of the war’s nature or its specifics, parrot hearsay and adjust it to fit their own views. The strategy of russian disinformation involves creating multiple sources that echo narratives favorable to russia’s military strategy. Other tactics include exploiting “useful idiots,” as explored in a New York Times documentary series.

The russian Footprint

In his Foreign Policy article, scholar Ian Dutkiewicz examines trends in American politics, noting that while there is a virtual consensus against aiding Ukraine, neither the right, the left, nor isolationists support russia or oppose Ukrainians. This is attributed to internal political dynamics. Indeed, as of spring 2024, only about one in nine individuals in our study has clear working connections to russian entities.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2020 report, russia adeptly leverages local conditions and circumstances to its benefit, targeting specific groups and establishing a decentralized network for disseminating its narratives. These narratives continue to propagate even without direct involvement from russia or its primary agents.

russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan has described in an interview how russians have created hundreds of information outlets that appear unconnected to russia “in a race against the CIA,” which is attempting to block them.

Our list also includes russian think tanks’ websites, such as the Strategic Culture Foundation, New Eastern Outlook, and the South Front news resource. Though based outside the United States, these sites receive significant traffic from the US (tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors, according to Similarweb data as of February 2024) and disseminate a broad spectrum of fabricated news about Ukraine, including contributions from American authors and politicians.

recent report from the Digital Forensic Research Lab highlighted that in 2023, russia intensified its global efforts to undermine Kyiv’s international reputation, weakening Western support and Ukrainian morale.

“The kremlin and its allies continue to try to damage Ukraine’s global standing, playing a long game by targeting nations worldwide with disinformation and influence campaigns aimed at reducing public support and allies’ willingness to provide aid,” according to the Atlantic Council.

“Right now, as we speak, moscow is engaging in a psychological warfare operation,” former US National Security Council official Fiona Hill said in a late December 2023 interview with Radio Liberty’s russian service. “These are classic Soviet tactics—demoralizing the enemy before defeating them on the battlefield. They aim to make the enemy feel defeated and think that they have already lost, and this is precisely what putin is doing now, stirring debates in the West.”

And he is having some success. In February 2024, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson explained his vote against a bill supporting Ukraine by stating that he saw no benefit in prolonging Ukraine’s suffering since the country had already been defeated, although he recognized putin as a war criminal.

Among the most significant “nodes” of connections between the opponents of aid to Ukraine are Donald Trump and his supporters, Senator J.D. Vance and media personality Tucker Carlson, Libertarian Party member Ron Paul, The Grayzone website and its founder Max Blumenthal, left-wing anti-war communities CODEPINK and the Massachusetts Peace Action, the far-right website Infowars and its editor Alex Jones, and many others. The ecosystem is current as of the beginning of May 2024.

The hypothetical lines of mutual support between individuals and organizations are drawn based on the following:

  • participation in joint actions, organizations, campaigns, and movements;
  • joint publications, reprints;
  • support during elections (both financial and verbal public support);
  • complimentary interviews, public statements, and mutual sharing of content as a sign of support (in particular, reposts on social media);
  • involvement in the financing and activities of actions or organizations.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of these “nodes” in withdrawing support for Ukraine.

Trump and his Network

The core of the effort to decrease U.S. support for Ukraine consists of Trumpists—politicians, media figures, activists, and experts aligned with Donald Trump, including Trump himself. Members of Congress aligned with him obstruct bills aiding Ukraine, with the most vocal ones spreading their views to millions via social media.

Though Trump has not directly opposed Ukraine post-invasion, he has noted that russia “will eventually…take over all of Ukraine,” frequently stating that Ukraine lacks the capability to defeat russia. In April 2024, media outlets reported on Trump’s “secret peace plan,” suggesting that Ukraine should cede Crimea and Donbas to moscow.

On April 20, 2024, just before the House of Representatives vote on Ukrainian aid, Trump didn’t endorse the bill but publicly recognized for the first time that “Ukrainian Survival and Strength should be much more important to Europe than to us, but it is also important to us!” He criticized European allies for their insufficient support of Ukraine.

Despite his remarks, Trump remains a pivotal figure for those consistently against supporting Ukraine, according to our survey.

In February 2023, a group of 10 Republicans led by U.S. House member Matt Gaetz initiated the Ukraine Fatigue Resolution, advocating for the cessation of military and financial aid to Ukraine.

Mr. Gaetz has been a vocal critic of aid to Ukraine. He, along with co-sponsors like Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Thomas Massie (Kentucky), and Barry Moore (Alabama), in November 2022, pushed for a stronger audit of funds the U.S. provides to Ukraine.

Even those who supported Ukraine in 2022 opposed it by early 2024, worried about a backlash from Trump supporters and aiming to maintain their career prospects within the Republican Party with Trump as the presidential candidate.

Trump’s campaign slogan that American taxpayer money should only be used for the needs of American citizens is a defining feature of his presidential campaign for the upcoming elections in fall 2024. His stance resonates with the views of Republicans who rose to power post-World War I.

Trump’s approach to foreign and domestic policy attracts many neoconservatives and far-right supporters. His views are endorsed by The Heritage and Stand Together Foundations, the Cato Institute, conservative media such as One America News Network, Real America’s Voice, The American Conservative, The Daily Wire, Breitbart News, and the Concerned Veterans for America movement.

The center-right student organization Turning Point USA (TPUSA), founded by Charlie Kirk, serves as a recruitment platform for Trump supporters, and The Center for Renewing America functions as a think tank.

The Center for Renewing America

US President Donald Trump. According to Politico, the organization is already crafting a new conservative strategy in anticipation of a potential Trump victory in the 2024 presidential election.

Key figures in the organization, including Russell Vought, Bradley Devlin, KeithGsley Wilson, Heather Cordasco, Mika Meadowcroft, Ken Cuccinelli, Wade Miller, Jeff Clarke, and Sumantra Maitra, have publicly opposed economic and military support for Ukraine.

On their website, the organization cited an old claim that North Korea had allegedly purchased a rocket engine manufactured in Ukraine via the black market. This accusation has been denied by Ukrainian authorities.

Turning Point USA

Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a student-led center-right organization known for hosting events on college campuses to advocate for center-right policies and cultural values. In 2018 and 2019, TPUSA’s key events took place at then-President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago club, featuring Donald Trump Jr.

Charlie Kirk, the president of TPUSA, addressed the 2016 Republican National Convention and served as the chairman of Students for Trump. TPUSA opposes U.S. involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and advocates for an end to U.S. aid to Ukraine. During the 2020 election, TPUSA was recognized as the largest pro-Trump youth organization in the country.

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This tweet mentions Sarah-Ashton Cirillo, an American transgender journalist and combat medic in the Territorial Defense Forces, who served as the English-speaking spokesperson for the Defense Forces during August and September 2022.

Tucker Carlson, his fans, and interviewees

russian propaganda disseminator Tucker Carlson recently managed to bring a two-hour lecture on pseudo-history by russian dictator Vladimir putin to millions of Americans.

The interview with putin in February 2024 went viral in the American online space, provoking a new wave of discussions and proposals to listen and try to understand his behavior despite his condemnation.

It is the same Tucker Carlson who also publicly stated that he was rooting for russia and who, until April 2023, retold the old russian fake about American biolabs in Ukraine on one of the most famous American TV channels, Fox News.

After his dismissal (and not because of the spread of russian fakes and propaganda), in December of the same year, he launched his website, Tucker Carlson Network, which, in February 2024, thanks to putin, garnered 24 million views (according to Similarweb).

In addition to putin, Trump, and Viktor Orbán, Carlson’s guests on this platform include dozens of American officials, media professionals, experts, and bloggers, most of whom also favor russia in the russian-Ukrainian war.

Retired General Douglas McGregor, who in February 2022 promised that the russians would “take Kyiv in three days” (a14), shares his predictions and assessments of the russian-Ukrainian war on Carlson’s platform.

Anti-vaccine activist and former Democrat Robert Kennedy, nephew of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, recounts fictions about American biolabs in Ukraine on the same resource.

The same platform promotes pharmaceutical magnate and close Trump ally Vivek Ramaswamy advocates for the United States to withdraw from NATO, shares his plans to go to moscow, return russia to the world market, and give it the occupied Ukrainian territories.

Another Trump supporter, Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist and editor of the Infowars website, who has been repeatedly cited in various studies as a source of fake news, comes to Carlson’s show to tell Americans the “entire truth about the war in Ukraine that other American media won’t tell you.”

CODEPINK and other “peace activists”

A well-known pacifist organization in the United States is the left-wing human rights group CODEPINK. Founded in 2002 by Jody Evans and Medea Benjamin to oppose the war in Iraq, it is today positioned as a feminist pacifist organization. Its goals are to end wars worldwide, promote human rights initiatives, and redirect resources to healthcare, education, and green jobs.

According to the website Influence Watch (a project of the Capital Research Center), CODEPINK has also received significant funding from grantmaking organizations affiliated with the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 2017 and has issued numerous pro-China statements calling on the U.S. government to be more supportive of totalitarian rule.

CODEPINK seeks a ban on the import of American weapons and a ban on the use of military drones. It advocates for an end to the confrontation with China, the blockade of Cuba, reconciliation with Iran, and forcing Israel to take into account the interests of Palestine and calls US President Joe Biden a war criminal.

In russia’s war against Ukraine, CODEPINK verbally condemns russia’s actions but claims NATO expansion is the cause of the war. It believes that Ukraine is also guilty of russian aggression. It demands the lifting of sanctions against “ordinary russians” and to take into account the interests of the russian Federation.

CODEPINK is a highly active organization. It organizes actions and creates coalitions united by a common goal to stop Washington’s support for Ukraine, dissolve NATO, and persuade Ukraine to negotiate. According to the organization, one argument for cutting off funding for Ukraine is that the war is hurting the climate and causing massive dolphin deaths in the Black Sea.

The Coalition

In its activities, CODEPINK closely cooperates with World Beyond War (“World Beyond War”), RootsAction.org, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (“Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space”), Massachusetts Peace Action (“Massachusetts Peace Action”), Stop the War Coalition (“Stop the War Coalition”), International Peace Bureau (“International Peace Bureau”), Rage Against the War Machine (“Rage Against the War Machine”).

Coalition partners are circulating petitions, sending letters to Congress, urging supporters to apply to members of Congress with a demand not to fund Ukraine, passing resolutions in political clubs, and organizing pickets in front of the offices of members of Congress.

CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin is touring the United States to promote her book “The War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict,” which collects russian propaganda narratives about Ukraine’s social and political life such as: “In 2014, a coup d’état took place in Ukraine with the support of the West,” “Ukraine started a war against the residents of Donbas,” “Crimea-russian territory,” etc.

CODEPINK activists claim that Ukraine has been bombing Donetsk for ten years and advocate for the recognition of the “DPR” and “LPR.”

CODEPINK uses every russian propaganda thesis to support its beliefs. Its position is that the US and the West stood in the way of the russia-Ukraine treaty in Turkey. They quote russian news agencies, pro-russian experts and refer to pro-russian telegram channels.

Noam Chomsky and Jeffrey David Sachs, well-known Russophiles and critics of the United States, are the community’s ideological mentors.

The organization takes a leftist position. Among the prominent “partners” are left-wing figures and parties in the United States, such as the People’s Party, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Together, they organize events calling for an end to active support for Ukraine and negotiations with russia.

Their network extends beyond the country’s borders. CODEPINK cooperates with representatives of the left around the world.

CODEPINK’s representative, Mercy Winograd, has even appealed to left-wing forces in Ukraine and convince them that NATO is to blame for the war.

CODEPINK cooperates with representatives of russia, including pro-government journalist Vladimir Posner.

Massachusetts Peace Action

Another anti-war movement calls for depriving Ukraine of aid and negotiating with russia. The organization views the military response of Ukrainians to russia as a proxy war of the United States. It believes that russia’s attack is a response to the provocation of NATO expansion (a repeat of russian propaganda) and that further war with the russia is pushing the world toward a nuclear catastrophe (putin’s favorite scare story, which he has repeated many times).

Massachusetts Peace Action conducts its actions jointly with the aforementioned left-wing group CODEPINK.

In its conclusions about the war in Ukraine, Massachusetts Peace Action refers to the opinions of pro-russian experts. For example, Aaron Mate, a journalist for The Grayzone, spreads russian propaganda. He also attended UN meetings at the invitation of russia, where he justified the use of chemical weapons by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Regarding Ukraine, in his articles, Mate repeats russian propaganda that the Maidan was a coup and that Ukrainians are Nazis.

Eisenhower Media Network

The Eisenhower Media Network (EMN) is an organization of experts who are former military, intelligence, and civilian national security officials.

Members of the organization are regular participants in CODEPINK events. Matthew Hoh and Lawrence Wilkerson are among the most favorite speakers, and Ann Wright is a member of both organizations.

The Eisenhower Media Network, which brings together American military veterans and experts, has launched a paid media campaign to argue that the United States is investing too much in Ukraine’s efforts to repel russia’s invasion.

For example, in May 2023, The New York Times published a joint letter from 14 US national security experts in its “Opinions” section, which argued that the West should stop supporting Ukraine to achieve peace. The letter was published as paid advertising content and is not available in the archive on the publication’s website. The original can be read on the Eisenhower Media Network website.

The network’s experts repeat russia’s propaganda thesis that NATO’s desire for expansion caused the war and that US involvement intensified it. “We gave putin a fair reason,” EMN director Dennis Fritz told The Daily Beast.

EMN’s leading donor is Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen, who we have already mentioned in the list of investors who repeat russian narratives. The company emphasizes that its co-owner acts solely as a private citizen and does not support his activities.

Surprise: Democrats’ “Squad” among the “peace activists”

Democratic members of Congress also attend CODEPINK actions. An informal group of eight congressmen has formed in the House of Representatives, calling themselves “The Squad.” Its members are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Greg Kasar, Corey Bush, Jamal Bowman, and Summer Lee.

The activities of the members of this group include, in particular, anti-war speeches. They call on the U.S. government to persuade Ukraine to negotiate with russia and to reduce or stop armed support and funding. They promote the idea that easing sanctions against russia is a necessary step.

On October 24, 2022, members of the “Squad” sent a letter to President Biden calling for an end to the war with the following arguments:

“The conflict has driven up gas and food prices in Ukraine, which has led to inflation and high oil prices for Americans in recent months. According to economists, if the situation in Ukraine stabilizes, the rise in fuel prices will subside. It will subside and likely lead to a drop in world oil prices.” (Despite the ongoing war, oil prices have generally declined since then – Ed.)

“We urge you to make active diplomatic efforts to support a peaceful settlement and a negotiated ceasefire. We call for direct negotiations with russia.”

However, it is worth noting that on April 20, 2024, they all voted to support the Ukraine bill.

RT and The Grayzone, contributors and partners

One vital element of russian propaganda in the United States is russia Today (RT). This russian government-funded state media outlet promotes anti-Ukrainian narratives to an international audience. According to the website SimilarWeb, the number of visits to the site in March 2024 was over 93 million. Of these, 8% were users from the United States (about 7.5 million), and 3% were from Canada.

Until March 5, 2022, the RT America news channel was headquartered in Washington, DC, and operated throughout the United States. The channel was part of the RT network. It was distributed through individual cable providers, online services, live streaming on the website, and three low-powered digital subchannels. After the channel’s closure, viewers tuning in to the cable channel or its live streaming are shown a live broadcast of RT International instead.

RT, which was banned from YouTube at the time, moved to the video-hosting platform Rumble, which has a reputation for harboring conservatives and conspiracy theorists. According to the statistics website Semrush, in 2024, Rumble had an audience of 84 million users, 23 million of whom were in the U.S. There are still many American journalists working for RT. Dozens of people on our list have either worked or are working for RT or are frequent guests on the network.

Some of them, such as Fiorella Isabelle, live in russia and spread russian propaganda in English. While the russian propaganda media continue to label her as an “American journalist.”

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Another RT journalist, Iva Karen Bartlett, is Fiorella’s associate. The Canadian media outlet CBC claims that the author has lived in russia since 2019. In 2022, she was an observer at the pseudo-referendum on the accession of the occupied parts of the Donetsk region to the russian Federation.

Family-run operation at The Grayzone website

Max Blumenthal is an American journalist and founder of The Grayzone website. Blumenthal is regularly quoted in the russian state propaganda media Sputnik and russia Today. In 2015, Max traveled to moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of russia Today during their live broadcast, where Vladimir putin was present.

Blumenthal was invited by the russian Federation to create reporting about UN meetings in 2023. After one of these meetings, Blumenthal’s joint report with his Irish colleague Chay Bowes was quoted by russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as follows:

“In their speeches, they presented the facts of the Kyiv regime’s use of Western weapons to strike civilian targets in Donetsk and carry out sabotage attacks in the Belgorod region. They provided evidence of multibillion-dollar infusions of U.S. taxpayer funds into corrupt schemes to fuel the war against russia by Ukrainians. They reported that only Western elites and the military-industrial complex benefit from the escalation of the conflict….”

All of the above is a repetition of russia’s propaganda theses that it has been promoting for many years.

Max and his wife, Anya Parampil, publish their publications on The Grayzone, a website Blumenthal created after collaborating with Al Jazeera English, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.

The couple also joins the rallies of left-wing anti-war organizations CODEPINK, Rage Against the War Machine (“Rage Against the War Machine”), and Massachusetts Peace Action (“Massachusetts Peace Action”), which demand to stop providing aid to Ukraine “for peace.”

The presence of Donald Trump supporter Marjorie Taylor Green added weight to one of these rallies organized by the left. After learning about her participation in the rally, Parampil tweeted, and Max retweeted his wife, commenting on it: “This kind of unity is what terrifies the US war state.”

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Rage Against the War Machine

This antiwar movement is interesting because it tries to attract figures from different camps, including ideologically opposite ones: both left and right. The only “anti-war” goal of this movement is to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons, which should lead to the end of the war (while, in fact, it will lead to mass murder and torture in russian-occupied Ukraine).

“We have leftists, rightists, communists, conservatives, paleoconservatives, libertarians, greens, the People’s Party. We are here because we oppose the war,” said Jackson Hinkle, media influencer at the Rage Against the War Machine rally.

“Ukraine is not a real country,” he writes on his Х network page.

Hinkle has also made anti-Ukrainian statements on russia Today and Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News. By the way, Carlson himself advertised Rage Against the War Machine rallies.

Hinkle supports the Trumpist movement Make America Great Again (MAGA). He is also involved in the socialist Center for Political Innovation (see more below). This pro-russian organization sponsors the Rage Against the War Machine movement and accuses Ukraine of waging an aggressive war “against the people of the DPR.”

Hinkle also sells T-shirts with the “Z symbol” (the russian symbol for the invasion of Ukraine in 2022).

Angela McArdle, an opponent of providing aid to Ukraine, is a regular moderator of Rage Against the War Machine events. She is also the head of the Libertarian Party, along with a retired congressman and participant in the movement’s rallies, Ron Paul. The latter justifies Vladimir putin’s actions and supports “referendums” in Ukraine’s occupied territories.

Along with McArdle, Nick Branagh of the People’s Party moderates the Rage Against the War Machine rallies. Branagh hopes that putin will win the war and end American world domination.

In addition to Max Blumenthal, his wife Anya Parampil, and Wyatt Reed of The Grayzone, pro-russian authors Kim Iversen, Chris Hedges, Scott Horton, and Garland Nixon also attend these rallies.

At the Rage Against the War Machine rally, Jill Stein, a representative of the Green Party, also spoke and accused the United States of being behind the russian-Ukrainian war. Earlier in her social media posts, Stein had called the 2014 Maidan a US-sponsored coup and spoke of Nazis in Ukraine.

Scott Ritter, a former convicted pedophile and, more recently, a friend of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, attends the movement’s rallies. Matt Heimbach, an activist accused of neo-Nazism and a self-described socialist-patriot, completes the already diverse audience.

What do the Rage Against the War Machine protesters want from the U.S. government? Here are their demands:

Not a single penny for the war in Ukraine: “The US government has armed Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars. The war has claimed the lives of thousands of people and is pushing the world towards World War III. We must stop financing the war.”

Start peace negotiations: “The United States started the war in Ukraine through a coup d’état in 2014 and then sabotaged the peace deal with russia. We demand an immediate ceasefire and diplomacy.”

The anti-war movement Rage Against the War Machine does not have any demands for russia, the aggressor country which started this war.

Center for Political Innovation

One of the sponsors of the “anti-war” actions of Rage Against The War Machine is the socialist Center for Political Innovation (CPI). It is headed by American journalist Caleb Maupin (included in the list of pro-russian propagandists by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation).

Maupin calls his organization an educational project and a community of young people.

CPI members call on the U.S. government to stop providing any assistance to Ukraine, repeating russian theses, accusing Ukrainians of Nazism, civilian killings, and abuse of the Orthodox Church, and calling the 2014 Maidan a coup.

At one of the Chicago conferences in 2022, CPI representatives walked on stage with the flags of the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and the “DPR,” holding a poster with the symbol Z. CPI organized a similar performance in Austin, Texas.

A statement on the CPI’s official website on the recognition of the russian-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent republics completes the picture:

“The Center for Political Innovation and all its members congratulate you on the russian Federation’s recognition of your sovereignty and independence from Ukraine. We express our full support for your struggle against oppression and occupation after the 2014 Euromaidan, supported by the United States and NATO.

The Center for Policy Innovation condemns the U.S. government’s support and funding of Ukrainian aggression. We hope for a swift and successful resolution to the violence that Ukraine continues to perpetrate against Donbas, as well as a prosperous and peaceful future for the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.”

Libertarian Party

It is one of the most popular non-parliamentary parties in the United States. It declares non-interference in the russian-Ukrainian war and opposes aid to Ukraine.

Shortly before the russian invasion, the Libertarian Party announced:

“Our position is clear: non-intervention is the answer to the Ukrainian crisis and all future crises.”

The Nevada branch of the Libertarian Party also expresses its attitude to the war in Ukraine:

“Let Ukraine burn,” it says on its X network page.

In 2023, the Libertarian Party sponsored Rage Against the War Machine rallies and condemned US aid to Ukraine. Libertarian leaders Angela McArdle and Ron Paul made statements against support for Ukraine at the rallies. Among the speakers on the stage next to them were many who supported russia and spread propaganda favorable to kremlin propaganda.

Longtime Libertarian Party member Ron Paul has been justifying the actions of russia and putin for years. In 2014, he supported the annexation of Crimea. And after russia’s full-scale invasion, he wrote:

“The Ukraine crisis also provides an excuse for Congress to do what Congress does best: increase federal spending. President Biden has requested Congress to provide Ukraine with an additional $10 billion in emergency military aid. “Congress will likely quickly approve the President’s request. This will not likely be the last time Congress rushes billions of ’emergency’ money to Ukraine.”

Ron Paul disseminates his thoughts on the situation in Ukraine through the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, an organization he founded.

Longtime Libertarian Party member Ron Paul has been justifying the actions of russia and putin for years. In 2014, he supported the annexation of Crimea. And after russia’s full-scale invasion, he wrote:

“The Ukraine crisis also provides an excuse for Congress to do what Congress does best: increase federal spending. President Biden has requested Congress to provide Ukraine with an additional $10 billion in emergency military aid. “Congress will likely quickly approve the President’s request. This will not likely be the last time Congress rushes billions of ’emergency’ money to Ukraine.”

Ron Paul disseminates his thoughts on the situation in Ukraine through the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, an organization he founded.

Conservatives and Isolationists

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is an organization that advocates for non-interference in US foreign policy. It was founded in 2019 with the support of liberal George Soros and libertarian Charles Koch. In response to accusations of isolationism and pro-russian stance, in July 2022, the Institute released the following statement on the russian-Ukrainian war:

“QI staff experts have offered clear and consistent warnings of the dangers posed by a potential conflict between russia and Ukraine and how the United States could be drawn in; they have also offered roadmaps for how to avoid and now end the conflict. This analysis stretches back many years and is deeply informed.”

In the same statement, the Institute promotes the idea that negotiations are the only way to end the war and that russia cannot be defeated:

“A protracted war will inflict grave damage on the people of Ukraine while also harming our NATO allies and the world as a whole, including Americans.

Direct conflict between the United States and russia risks potential nuclear weapons use, and avoiding it, therefore, must be America’s top priority.

The United States should avoid advancing maximalist war aims such as regime change in russia, which cuts off opportunities for compromise or ending the war through diplomacy.”

The institute promotes limiting military support, calls for negotiations, and rethinking the meaning of victory for Ukraine.

The article by George Beebe and Anatole Lieven states:

“If we want a prosperous Ukraine with a viable path toward liberal governance and European Union membership, we will have to concede that it cannot be a NATO or U.S. ally and that this neutral Ukraine must have verifiable limits on the types and quantities of weapons it may hold. If we refuse to agree to those terms, russia will quite probably turn Ukraine into a dysfunctional wreck incapable of rebuilding itself…”

It sounds appealing, but the problem is that the country insists on NATO membership only because of russia’s constant existential threat. Instead, the United States has been trying to stop or indefinitely postpone Kyiv’s aspirations to join the Alliance for years.

Members of the organization, George Beebe and Anatole Lieven, argue that putin is ready for negotiations and propose to leave the occupied part of Ukraine under russian control until a potential UN debate. Preserving Ukraine’s statehood and 80% of its territory is considered a victory.

Older articles by Institute director Anatole Lieven on the Valdai Club website, written in 2016, after the annexation of Crimea and during the war in Donbas, show his position on Ukraine. He criticizes the support of Europe and the United States for Ukraine’s European course and tries to explain russia’s behavior: “At least russia has an excuse for its mistakes in Ukraine, which is that Ukraine is indeed vital to russian history, to its identity and interests.” putin has repeated the same thesis more than once.

Lieven’s articles after 2022 maintain a similar discourse on Ukraine but in the American information space.

Heritage Foundation

Another center-right think tank that has consistently advocated for an end to support for Ukraine, with arguments similar to those made by Donald Trump, saying that Europe’s security should be Europe’s problem and that the United States has already spent too much.

In early 2024, the organization was embroiled in a scandal: it was accused of receiving funding from the Hungarian government through its cooperation with the Danube Institute, a Hungarian conservative think tank supported by the government.

In December 2023, the British portal The Guardian reported that at a closed session during a conference organized by the Heritage Foundation, representatives of the Hungarian government tried to convince American politicians and members of the Republican Party to block support for Ukraine.

“In early March 2024, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited the United States. He spoke at a closed-door meeting at the headquarters of the Heritage Foundation (a center-right think tank founded in 1973) in Washington, D.C., – according to the New Republic. – Together with the president of the “Heritage Foundation,” Kevin Roberts and Vivek Ramaswamy, Orbán spoke, according to the protocol, to an audience that “included prominent American right-wing politicians, analysts, and public figures.”

The Hungarian prime minister spoke on various topics ranging from Hungary’s “conservative family and economic policies” to the “state of the war in Ukraine,” the article says. The authors also mention that the foundation has “led efforts to reduce funding for Ukraine” and is trying to establish a U.S. partnership (after Trump is elected president, they hope) with a pro-russian European politician.

The director of Heritage responded with an angry letter in which he called the publication a “dying liberal mouthpiece,” denied that Heritage was funded by foreign governments, but emphasized he is proud of his “relationship with Prime Minister Orbán, whose leadership in Hungary on immigration, family policy and the importance of the nation-state is a model of conservative governance.”

Breitbart News

American fact-checkers describe the content of the American far-right website Breitbart News (30 million users in February 2024, according to Similarweb) as misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist. News about Ukraine on this site and the official X network page (formerly Twitter) are often accompanied by ironic comments about the US government spending money on arming Ukrainians.

In the articles, the authors emphasize that the “West has done nothing to bring peace but continues to spend taxpayer money to arm Ukrainians.”

After the death of founder Andrew Breitbart in 2012, Stephen Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker and former advisor and close ally of Donald Trump, became the executive director of Breitbart. Under Bannon’s leadership, the site became more nationalistic and a mouthpiece for the far-right movement.

The Daily Wire

A conservative news site (6.2 million users in February 2024, according to Similarweb) founded by young conservative Ben Shapiro, who supports the right-wing agenda but does not always directly support Donald Trump and his supporters. Ben Shapiro has even criticized Tucker Carlson for being manipulative, linking the welfare of Americans to the allocation of aid to Ukraine. At the same time, he opposes the “support as long as it takes” format and speaks of the need to persuade Ukraine to negotiate.

Fact-checkers consider this site to be biased due to the distortion of facts for the sake of conservative bias and cases of dissemination of unverified information.

The “star” of The Daily Wire’s political shows is psychologist and influencer Jordan Peterson, who, we recall, says that putin and “philosopher” Dugin are saving Christianity from the decaying West.

Until March 2024, Candace Owens, a Donald Trump supporter and former communications director of the pro-Trump student organization Turning Point USA, worked here. She quit due to disagreements with Ben Shapiro over Israel’s war against Hamas.

But 22-year-old actress and media influencer Brett Cooper, also an “alumnus” of Turning Point USA, continues to work, with 4.1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she tells the news in a popular youth format that the United States is robbing ordinary Americans of their money by spending money to support Ukraine.

Brett Cooper regularly finds angles to ridicule: She considers humor inappropriate in a TikTok of a Ukrainian girl who talks about life under fire (even calling her dog ugly), or mocks Hollywood celebrities who came to support Zelensky.

Conspiracy Theorists, Propagandists, and russians

Infowars is an American far-right website specializing in spreading fake news and conspiracy theories (monthly audience in February 2024 was 6.2 million, according to Similarweb).

The site’s editor-in-chief, Alex Jones (in 2022, a court found him guilty of spreading disinformation about a school shooting), was a guest on Tucker Carlson’s shows, where he presented as a “forbidden prophet” and “carrier of hidden truths.”

The site often reprints articles from russia Today and Sputnik. Alex Jones has repeatedly appeared on the far-right russian TV channel “Tsargrad TV,” owned by one of putin’s associates, Konstantin Malofeev, who supports armed aggression against Ukraine and finances the activities of terrorists Igor Girkin and Alexander Boroday in Ukraine. Jones also appeared on the air of another moscow-based propagandist-philosopher with fascist views, Alexander Dugin, who promotes the “russian world.”

The articles on the site describe how russian war crimes were staged, including the massacre of civilians in Bucha, Kyiv region, in February-March 2022; how American biolabs were deployed in Ukraine, and the activities of “Nazis” including the “Nazi Azov” regiment.

The Infowars website also has several journalists and hosts. One of the leading authors is Kelen McBreen. In his articles, he often refers to statements and official documents of the relevant ministries of the russian Federation, including the russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For example, in his “investigation” of the attack on the Kramatorsk train station, McBreen writes:

“The purpose of the Kyiv regime’s strike on the Kramatorsk railway station was to disrupt the mass exodus of residents from the city and use them as human shields to protect the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as in many other Ukrainian towns and cities,” said the russian Defense Ministry, noting that “the mainstream media simply paraphrase the Ukrainian government’s account of the deadly attack, but russia’s statement denying responsibility for the strike is convincing.” To support his thesis, the author mentions the arguments of another American journalist, Patrick Lancaster, who moved to russia-occupied Donetsk in 2014 and has been covering events in the occupied territories of Ukraine in russia’s interests ever since.

Another contributor, Patrick Henningsen, an assistant editor at Infowars, is now the editor-in-chief of 21stCenturyWire.com. The website describes itself as “an independent hyperblog that delivers bold news.” It publishes numerous conspiracy theories about the “new world order,” quotes russian ideologue Alexander Dugin, denies the Holocaust, and, of course, spreads almost all the craziest russian fakes about Ukraine, such as “no Ukraine existed before 1991,” and “Ukraine organized genocide in Donbas.”

Veterans Today

Veterans Today is a website founded in 2003 on the wave of criticism and outrage over the US invasion of Iraq. It now publishes conspiracy theories and fake news. In 2013, it became a partner of the russian think tank “New Eastern Outlook” (New Eastern Outlook), and was mentioned in a 2020 report by the US State Department as being controlled by the russian Foreign Intelligence Service. In a 2017 a Politico investigation into russia’s targeted spread of propaganda among American veterans, it was mentioned that before cooperating with the russians, the site’s management had established ties with the Iranian state-run PressTV, and the editorial board included the former head of Pakistan’s intelligence services.

“When I read dozens of these alternative media sites and dove deep into their content, I realized that there was indeed an information war going on,” writes Kate Starbird, a researcher at the University of Washington, author of the study “Information Wars: A Window on the Alternative Media Ecosystem,” which mentions all these resources among dozens of others. She added, “Three years ago, we decided that these conspiracy theories were too fringe and obscene to investigate, that it was beneath us to pay attention to such content and thus promote it. It was a terrible mistake. I think we are not the only ones who made it. It’s time to pay attention to this. I hope it’s not too late.”

This was in 2017, two years before the COVID-19 epidemic and four years before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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