Russian Fake: “The United States has never spent money so successfully as on the murder of Russians.”

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On May 28, Russian media reported a statement by US Senator Lindsey Graham at a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he allegedly favoured the deaths of Russians because of “American money.” 

Senior propagandists responded to this statement, as well as a number of officials: Putin’s press secretary Peskov, the speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Zakharova, and the deputy chair of the Security Council of Russia Medvedev. The latter even called Graham an “old fool.”

But it turns out that the phrase was taken out of context and Russian propaganda failed once again.

What was really going on?

Reuters got acquainted with the full version of the meeting of Graham and Zelenskyy. According to the agency, Lindsey Graham said the phrase “the best money we’ve ever spent” in part of the conversation dedicated to the assistance provided by the United States since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia.

He went on to say that the United States had a time when “fighting to the last person, we were going to be free or die.” Zelenskyy replied that the United States is now free, and so Ukraine will be free. Graham said, “And the Russians are dying.” “Yes, but they came to our territory. We are not fighting on their territory,” Zelenskyy added.

This is not the first time Russia has referred to fake statements by politicians in the West.

In 2018, the speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Zakharova, in one of her speeches, referred to a fake quote by Margaret Thatcher during her premiership in the UK. 

Thus, she allegedly stated that Siberia should be divided, and international control should be established over it. But Thatcher’s foundation stated she did not say such words, either publicly or privately.

Another famous propaganda myth is the “promise” of NATO not to expand to the East. US Secretary of State Baker allegedly said this in a conversation with Mikhail Gorbachev in the early 90s. Only Gorbachev debunked this story in one of his interviews after 2014.

Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security

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