The Soviet Roots of Anti-Western Propaganda (According to the "Communist" newspaper of the 1970s)

News | Research | Memory and Disinformation Studies 28 December 2022

Russia is actively using its economic, financial, political, and informational leverage, and is waging information warfare and using propaganda to bring former Soviet and Eastern European countries back into its orbit. Due to long-term Soviet propaganda and its contemporary echoes, there is still nostalgia for a unified Soviet Union in some parts of society, as well as fear of European values, lifestyles, and society in general.


The present research aims to better understand the historical roots and development of anti-Western propaganda, which is reinforced by the modern Kremlin regime and propaganda. The main focus of this study is on the analysis of the anti-Western narrative created in the Georgian press of the 1970s. The topics discussed within the framework of the research include the economic, social, and cultural dimensions of the anti-Western discourse of the most important daily newspaper - "Communist", which waged a daily information war against the West; Increasing awareness of the long-term nature of anti-Western propaganda and its historical sources; and showing connections with contemporary Russian propaganda.


Throughout the study, the ten-year period of publication of the "Communist" newspaper (from 1970 to the middle of 1980) was analyzed using the tools of narrative and discourse analysis. The authors of the study made a basic observation of the narratives⁠—which included references to Western examples, international news coverage, and comparisons⁠—in the process of covering social, cultural, economic, and political issues.


The focus of the research on the 1970s is due to the fact that internationally important historical changes that were actively covered by the USSR took place in the mentioned period . Among them were the anti-war protests in America and the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam; the overthrow of the Shah in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic; War in the Middle East between Israel and Arab countries; The entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan; and many others. The Soviet methodology of disinformation and propaganda, which, on the one hand, tried to demonize the West and, on the other hand, to strengthen its own regime, can be seen exactly in the coverage of these international news by the USSR. These narratives are still used in modern political discourse to generate and strengthen anti-Western sentiments.


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