The conspiracy theory is back. According to The Wall Street Journal, state-owned media in Russia are suggesting the existence of a plot, organized by the Americans, behind the protests in Hong Kong. These insinuations, the newspaper underlines, are similar to those made in Russia in order to denounce pro-democracy movements in Moscow and Kiev, which were only used to destabilize the Russian government. According to the Russian media, they were far from being spontaneous popular protests showing discontent, and while this past Monday the Russian media only briefly brought up the movement in Hong Kong, on Tuesday state-controlled channels, which remain the primary news source in Russia, started presenting the Hong Kong protesters as “agents of an American-organized revolt, just like their counterparts in Kiev.”* The Wall Street Journal reports that a Rossiya 24 news anchor repeated accusations according to which “the leaders of the Hong Kong movement received special training from the American intelligence services.”* The anchor of the Russian First Channel went so far as to confirm that “Beijing has said that protest organizers are linked to the U.S. State Department”* – which the Chinese government apparently never said. The proof of the plot? State-owned channels showed “similar” calls from protesters in Kiev and Hong Kong and, of course, in the eyes of the Russian media, it’s no coincidence that the Hong Kong protests happened so quickly after those in Ukraine. Conspiracy theories still have many days ahead in Russia.
*Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.