Zelensky think tank designates Rand Paul as a Russian propagandist

Kyiv, Ukraine — The Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, founded in 2021 by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to study the impact of Russian disinformation, named Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in a list of politicians and activists it claims promote “Russian propaganda.”

The Kyiv center said Paul promoted the Russian narrative of the Ukrainian war in April when he said Joe Biden provoked the Russian invasion by pushing Ukraine’s admission to NATO.

Paul even suggested Russia may be justified in its war goals because Ukraine was once a Soviet republic.

“You could also argue the countries they’ve attacked were part of Russia. Or part of the Soviet Union.”

Senator Rand Paul, R – KY, on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The US State Department says Russian president Vladimir Putin is a master of disinformation and propaganda.

Some have pushed back against the Ukrainian researchers, however, with conservative think tank Cato Institute calling it a “terrible idea”. (It’s worth noting the Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow made the list, as well.)

Our Take:

Senator Paul probably isn’t working for the Kremlin directly, like some would have you believe, but his willingness to latch onto extreme narratives has had damaging effects in the past.

In May, he blocked a Senate vote to send more aid to Ukraine, a quixotic effort that only delayed critical humanitarian and military supplies from reaching Ukraine.

It’s okay for Senator Paul to stick to his principles, but he should do it on bills that aren’t time sensitive and critically important to a country under attack by an authoritarian dictator.