Putin is 'clearly irrational' and his actions are 'counter-productive' to Russia's interests, ...
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QAnon followers are being led into believing that Vladimir Putin is the good guy in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Last week, Russia’s leader ordered his troops to invade neighbouring country Ukraine – a move that has been heavily condemned by leaders around the world.

But, while most people view Putin as an aggressive and unpredictable leader, QAnon followers are among a minority who view him as the good guy.

QAnon is a movement of people who believe an anonymous person named “Q” is a top-secret government agent who is working in and leaking secrets from the so-called “deep state”.

Views among the QAnon conspiracists vary – some believe that the invasion is a movie, while others think it’s a false flag operation to make Russia look bad, VICE reports. Some have also linked it to Joe Biden.

Putin has been viewed on a positive light by QAnon followers almost ever since the conspiracy began.

In 2017, one user on 4chan, the site that hosts QAnon, wrote: “Russia has historically been the perceived arch-rival and pure nemesis of the United States for over seventy years.

“On the other hand Putin rejects the [New World Order]—the global government plan of the cabal and promotes national sovereignty—two things in common with DJT [Donald J Trump].

“Putin has also supported the revival of Christian faith within Russia and frequently emphasizes its importance for a moral and sustainable society.”

QAnon has been forced further underground since the 6 January 2021 Capitol Riots in the US, during which many insurrectionists were identified as QAnon followers.

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Extremism researcher and Ph.D. candidate at Concordia University, Marc-André Argentino, found that between January and November 2021, Russia Today pages were the most shared links in the community.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kremlin-backed Russia Today has been removed from UK screens in an attempt to stop Putin’s propaganda and disinformation from spreading.

Argentino told VICE News: “Russian state media and some of their amplifiers increased their presence on Telegram last year in light of growth on Telegram due to mass de-platforming.

“The audience for their anti-government and anti-Western propaganda are prime targets with little interference from other sources and fact-checkers as they are not present there.”

As Russia began invading Ukraine, the view among those in the QAnon community was made clear by comments.

John Sabal, also known as QAnon John, wrote on Telegram: “Putin is straight gangsta. MSM [mainstream media] is totally losing their minds right now.”

But even among the conspiracy theorists, there are different views about the reason for the Ukraine invasion.

Some believe the invasion is a false flag operation, or not real at all. QAnon believers are known for thinking that nothing is at as it seems. So, it is hardly surprising that many instantly believed that the attacks are being made up by the mainstream media. They falsely claimed that the famous image of a Ukrainian woman with a bloodied face was taken in 2018.

Others have long believed Joe Biden is a fake president and is simply playing the role for a film. So, when they discovered Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky was previously an actor, they used this as “evidence” of their beliefs that the invasion is a fake operation.

One online poll created by QAnon conspiracist Robert Smart asked if the invasion of Ukraine is “just a movie and not real”. 71 per cent of respondents said this statement was true.

Others embedded in the QAnon conspiracy think that the invasion is a Russian operation to root out the so-called deep state in Kyiv.

Another theory was one that first emerged through Russian-state media, which claims that Russia is invading Ukraine to attack US-run bio labs. This claim has been debunked by PolitiFact, who confirms there are no US-run bio labs in Ukraine.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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