On July 26, Newsweek reported that Kiev released a list of individuals who are supposedly promoting Russian propaganda. The list was compiled by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, an organization which was founded in 2021 by Vladimir Zelensky to study the impact of what Kiev considers to be “Russian disinformation”.
Several individuals in the United States with various backgrounds and political views have been placed on this list. Caleb Maupin, the Director of the Center for Political Innovation, is one of multiple journalists and activists listed as a Russian propagandist. Douglas Macgregor, David Payne, Scott Ritter, and Ray McGovern – who have all worked for intelligence agencies or the military – have given informed criticisms of US foreign policy, and are included on Ukraine’s list.
Both former and current US politicians are also on the list, including Tulsi Gabbard, Geoff Young, Richard Black, and Rand Paul.
Ukraine’s list of Russian propagandists is not limited to Americans – people from all around the world have been placed on this list. Left-wing anti-war Irish politician Clare Daly, known for her criticisms of EU sanctions against Russia and arms shipments to Ukraine, was put on this list of “Russian propagandists”, despite the fact that Daly has also criticized Russia for initiating the military operation. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute and outspoken anti-imperialist, is on the list along with several other people who are associated with the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement. Marine Le Pen, a French politician often described as far-right by western media, is also on the list – possibly due to Le Pen wanting France to exit NATO.
This is not the first time that people who oppose the official Kiev narrative have been put on a list. Myrotvorets, a website which uses illegal methods such as hacking to publish information about people, created a page for MainTrendNews Editor-in-Chief Donald Courter in 2019 because of his pro-Lugansk activism. As the proxy war in Ukraine continues, these neo-McCarthyist methods of targeting political dissidents will continue. Regardless of one’s political ideology or personal opinions on Russia and Ukraine, anybody who criticizes western imperialism can be smeared as a “Putin puppet” or “Russian propagandist.”