Reality made the disinformation war temporarily irrelevant

Former Fulbright scholar and author Andrew Giarelli asks what will happen when Russia wipes its bloody nose and ramps up the brutality to Syrian or Chechen levels.

An armed man stands by the remains of a Russian military vehicle in Bucha, close to the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, on March 1, 2022. An armed man stands by the remains of a Russian military vehicle in Bucha, close to the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, on March 1, 2022. (Source: AP/SITA)

About a week before Russia’s Ukraine invasion, I started asking Slovak friends online for their opinions on what could, should and would happen. I was stunned by their answers.

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“We’ve been there before,” said one, a former education professor. “Eastern Ukraine is miles away. Slovakia is not strategic like Poland, the Baltics, and Romania. It’s not Slovakia’s conflict – I wish we were neutral. Three-quarters of Slovaks are pro-Russian and anti-NATO, yet the government needs to toe the pro-NATO line.”

War in Ukraine prompts Slovakia to act against disinformation Read more 

I avoid social media spats like I do Covid, so I hastily proceeded to a normally pro-US, pro-NATO Bratislava friend (a history PhD who admires Ronald Reagan). I got slapped down again.

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