Aaron Boyd
4 min readFeb 20, 2024


So this is a seven-layer cake of bullshit that's trying to normalize genocide and surprise wars of imperial conquest by our generation's Adolf Hitler.

It's naked, shameless propaganda designed to frame mass murder, imperialism, naked greed, and stealing the largest country in Europe on a whim as a totally normal, acceptable thing.

This is not a "debate". Ukraine does not need to justify its existence to Vladimir Putin. He does not own them. His feelings are totally irrelevant. Period.

Putin loves to mention Nazis, so here's an analogy he'd like: This is like saying "Hey guys, let's give Hitler a chance to speak, maybe he's right about the Jews" and then paraphrasing passages from Mein Kampf.

I really don't want to spend my evening responding to this. Russian propaganda is really easy to dismantle, but it's tedious work due to the volume and the fact that talking to Putin supporters is like explaining basic aspects of modern law to a caveman that's just unthawed from a glacier.

It's painful, but I can't just sit by and ignore this. This isn't your garden-variety bullshit about get rich quick schemes or celebrity gossip.

This isn't just annoying. It's attempting to normalize and justify crimes against humanity. I really do not want to do this.

So I’m going to break this crap down, point out how Russian propaganda operates, the techniques it uses, and how they function in a real-world example.

Like this.

And I'll probably turn this into an article, because I am so, so tired of writing about this shit.

So, Part I: Changing the subject, Evasion, Deflection, Whataboutism, and Moral Relativism: All the various ways Russia tries to keep your focus away from its crimes and its weakness.

But first, I want to make something extremely clear: Russia's core arguments are indefensible.

Muddying the waters is one of Putin’s favorite strategies.

You start with something obviously wrong–like, say, invading your neighbor, murdering its citizens, destroying its cities, pillaging their land, raping their women, kidnapping their children, and subjugating its people through pure violence–and pretend it’s more complicated and ambiguous than it is.

You pretend it’s normal, claim everybody does it, try to change the subject, or, as we see here, give “history lessons” that have nothing to do with “murdering your neighbor and stealing their things.”

They will always try to distract you. But strip away the layers of bullshit, and the central question is this:

"Should Russia--and only Russia--be allowed to invade any country it wants, whenever it wants; to kill as many people as it wants; to steal whatever it wants; to redraw the map however it wants; to eradicate any culture that is wants; to disrupt global trade whenever it wants; to force the rest of the world to deal with the fallout of its decisions; and to experience no consequences whatsoever?"

This is the core of Russia's argument. It is pure selfishness. Nobody benefits but Russia, but everyone else is expected to suffer the consequences. It is a sociopathic disregard for how their actions affect others.

Do not lose sight of this. No matter what, remain focused on the fact that this is what Russia actually did.

Because all of their propaganda revolves around changing the subject, deflecting with Whataboutism, and to and reframe obviously evil things as "a matter of opinion."

It's all about distraction.

You will accuse them of committing horrifying war crimes, and instead of denying them, they will accuse you of "hypocrisy".

Show them a video of Russian soldiers committing war crimes, and I guarantee you there’s a 90% chance they’ll say Russia’s beloved catchphrase, “BUT WHAT ABOUT IRAQ??”

It's not that war crimes are wrong, it's that it's unfair you get to commit atrocities but they don't.

Russia sets up torture chambers for children in Bucha, you call them monsters, and they reply with "WELL WHAT ABOUT VIETNAM??"

Oh, nevermind, great point. Torture chambers for children is suddenly okay now. Wouldn't want to look like a hypocrite, sorry to bother you, Russia.

If you cut through the bullshit and focus on the core argument, if you focus on one clear point and don't let them change the subject--which they 100% will--their entire argument collapses instantly.

Because again: Russia's argument is that it should be able to declare surprise wars on anyone and subjugate any country it wants by force.

That's not "Western bias." There is literally zero benefit to anyone on the planet besides Russia.

Even if you have no soul and don't care about the human cost, it still threatens the stability of global trade, including vital commodities like, you know, food.

Remember when Russia attacked grain ships headed to countries with no involvement in the war?

How can we ensure peaceful global trade when, at any moment, Russia might just decide to invade Estonia, or sink a cargo ship, or threaten to nuke Poland for the ten billionth time?

This too is indefensible. But they will, predictably, attempt to change the subject ("WHAT ABOUT THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS??"), accuse you of Western bias and/or hypocrisy, and say that in Russia, starving unrelated countries is totally normal and fine.

And, in fairness to Russia, starving Ukrainians is pretty normal. Remember the Holomodor? When Putin's hero Stalin starved millions of Ukrainians to death?

But, oh wait, in the desolate purgatory of Russian bullshit, the Ukrainians have no hard feelings about the genocide and would be honored to be invaded and conquered by their murderers after fighting for their independence.

So the first core pillar is muddying the waters, changing the subject, deflecting with Whataboutism, presenting universal human values as "Western bias", and doing everything it can to distract you from its crimes.