Even before the build-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Government and its military leaders were already spewing out disinformation and propaganda. Their propaganda talks about how modern and advanced their military was in terms of troop skills, weapons, research and development, military vehicles, armored carriers, tanks, and of course, their nuclear program. When their invasion of Ukraine came, most of the world’s military analysts were shocked to see that the Russian forces had been doing so terrible to the point that many questioned the actual veracity of the intel coming out of Russia.

So, did the world get duped regarding Russia’s actual military power? More so, did Russia believe their own disinformation that they threw into the world?

The Western Reception of the Russian Propaganda Machine

Did the world fall for the whole Russian propaganda? In simple terms, yes, it did. More so, US intel did.

Remember when the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley told lawmakers and Americans that Ukraine could fall within 72 hours if the Russians were to invade it? He claimed these on February 2 and 3 when Milley attended closed-door meetings with some lawmakers and said that some 15,000 Ukrainian troops would die, with Russia garnering some 4,000 dead troops.

Other US intelligence officials warned that Kyiv could fall under Russian control in a matter of “days,” with some sources stating that Ukraine could fall as fast as three days. In fact, President Biden had been warning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine as far back as late 2021 and January 2022 when he said there was a “distinct possibility” that Russia would invade “next month.” This would be followed by rhetoric that the Russian invasion was “imminent” beginning in November and running through January and then saying “at any time” in February after predicting an invasion at any moment for nearly 4 months.  After hearing these claims for months, SOFREP expressed skepticism in January that an invasion would happen at any moment.  In our judgment, Russia did not have enough troops to take Ukraine(just 120,000 in January) and the weather would leave them stuck using the roads and result in a slaughter of Russian armored formations. We also noted that the US and NATO response to an imminent invasion was all but non-existent. We certainly weren’t sending billions in weaponry to Ukraine and neither was NATO. We also did not impose the threatened sanctions while believing the invasion was going to occur at any moment, which made them look like a big bluff by the US.