What's the story with pro-Russian Malaysians online?

A study of narratives on social media reveals why Putin’s war on Ukraine finds support among certain segments of Malaysians.

A contempt for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky resonated almost universally among Malaysians who support Russia. PHOTO: AFP
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To many pro-Russia sympathisers across the political spectrum in Malaysia, Russia is perceived as the potent alternative "superpower" that can compete with Western neo-colonialism and influence on equal grounds, even as Moscow is engaged in direct acts of imperialism. They subscribe to the belief that global politics can only be interpreted through a binary framework that pits corrupt and evil Western imperialists against honourable and wrongfully accused benevolent Eastern superpowers.

Malaysia is not short on information access - according to one study, around 89.6 per cent of Malaysians are likely to be online by 2025.

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