It’s been less than a week since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for helping “liberate Aleppo.” But that isn’t stopping Russian propagandists—and their allies on the American fringe—from denying that civilians were bombed there at all.
Both Kremlin-backed networks and American far right websites have adopted and deployed the Western buzzword “fake news” for the very real bombings in Aleppo. Worse, they’re dubbing private American citizens “professional propagandists” for starting fundraisers in support of afflicted Syrian civilians.
Aleppo has been the home of a forced evacuation over the past several weeks—leaving traditional Western media reporters unable to gain firsthand access to the atrocities. But reports from nonpartisan, international human rights groups and videos from the scene show bombed-out buildings and dead civilians in the streets.
The narrative that Aleppo bombings are “fake news” are taking traditional paths to viral success in America—polished, easily shareable Facebook videos that have received pickup by mainstream American outlets and wide-reach Facebook pages. What those outlets may not realize is that the material was made with Kremlin money.