Messing with the Truth: Disinformation in the West Spread by Glenn Greenwald

Messing with the Truth: Disinformation in the West Spread by Glenn Greenwald

28 November 2023

Kremlin disinformation is actively spreading in Europe, supported by Western speakers. Glenn Greenwald, a laureate of the most prestigious journalism award, has not only written for reputable publications such as The Guardian and The New York Times but has also propagated narratives similar to those of the Russians. In this episode, VoxCheck, in collaboration with the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, continues to shed light on Western “experts” who are advantageous to Russia.

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist and one of the founding editors of the American publication The Intercept until 2020. He has written articles for The New York Times and The Guardian. Greenwald has received several awards, particularly for investigative journalism. Alongside The Intercept’s editor, Foreign Policy magazine included Greenwald in its list of the 100 top global thinkers in 2013.

Glenn Greenwald. Source: The Economist

However, awards are not the only thing Glenn Greenwald is known for. Before his journalism career, he worked as a lawyer and even had his private law firm, Greenwald Christoph PC. For five years, he defended the rights of neo-Nazis and considers it one of his major achievements. In 2013, speaking to Rolling Stone about his work, Glenn Greenwald stated, “To me, it’s a heroic attribute to be so committed to a principle that you apply it not when it’s easy … Not when it supports your position, not when it protects people you like, but when it defends and protects people that you hate.

Additionally, Glenn Greenwald served as a lawyer representing the interests of Matthew Hale, the leader of the World Church of the Creator, who advocates for white supremacy. Hale was convicted of conspiring to murder a federal judge. While Greenwald defended Hale and emphasized that he was wrongly imprisoned, claiming he was not involved in the case.

Glenn Greenwald actively supported extremists, including the neo-Nazi National Alliance. As a result, a lawsuit was filed against him, which Greenwald dismissed as an attempt to “stifle freedom of speech” by condemning people with “non-traditional” views. Greenwald worked as a lawyer until 2005, when he shifted his focus to blogging and moved to Brazil. He wrote articles on political topics, the protection of citizens’ rights, and national security.

In 2013, the journalist began publishing reports detailing American and British global surveillance programs. He claimed to have received secret documents about these programs from the programmer and former CIA employee Edward Snowden. For this investigation, Greenwald became a Pulitzer Prize laureate.

In 2020, Greenwald left The Intercept because of “insufficient freedom of speech and censorship” and moved to the Substack platform. Substack is an online newsletter platform where Greenwald systematically published his articles. Over time, Greenwald’s statements shifted from criticizing his own government to “reflections” on Russia’s invasion.

On July 21, 2022, in an interview with the YouTube channel ReasonTV, which describes itself as a platform for “makers, growers, freaks, and visionaries,” Greenwald discussed the “reasons for Russia’s invasion.” In his opinion, the primary reason for Russia’s attack is the expansion of NATO to the East: “We need to consider whether our government played any role in Ukraine, and we certainly did. We surrounded Russia with a hostile military alliance that was never supposed to approach Russia’s borders, as we promised when the Soviet government allowed the Germans to reunite. It was very dangerous for Russia if you look at the history of the 20th century. They did it on the condition that NATO would not go beyond Germany to the East. But we immediately went beyond Germany, first under Clinton and then under Bush. Right up to the borders with Russia.”

Greenwald’s statement began to be actively disseminated by Russian Telegram channels and media. Despite the assertion by the former German Foreign Ministry spokesman, Christopher Burger, in 2021, that there is no mention of a promise to Russia not to expand NATO to the East in any document. The “non-expansion” agreement is merely a Kremlin fake used to justify the invasion and war crimes of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

Screenshot of the post 

In the interview, Greenwald employs a typical Russian narrative about the “puppetry” of Ukraine, which purportedly led to Russia’s war against Ukraine: “…We have been controlling Ukraine since 2014, including the change of government. We invaded Russia twice in the 20th century, and then suddenly we say that we have no connection to Ukraine. Of course, we play an important role, and of course, this threatens Russia. It’s the same as if Russians started acting in Mexico.”

In this way, Greenwald spreads a narrative aligned with the Russian one about U.S. interference in the events in Ukraine in 2014. In reality, the Euromaidan movement was initiated by the former President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers at that time. On November 21, 2013, Ukrainians took to protest on Independence Square in Kyiv. People disagreed with the government of Mykola Azarov refusing to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, which had been prepared since 1998. The use of force against the people’s will lead to an open confrontation between Ukrainians and the authorities, eventually evolving into the Revolution of Dignity and forcing Viktor Yanukovych to flee Ukraine.

In his other speeches, Greenwald reflects on the senselessness of the U.S. assisting Ukraine in its struggle against Russia. In an interview with the pro-Russian American television host Tucker Carlson, whom we mentioned earlier, Greenwald loudly speaks about the activity of a “biolab” in Ukraine operated by the U.S. In this way, the journalist shifts responsibility for the war with Russia onto someone else.

Despite having one of the most prestigious journalistic awards and publishing articles in internationally respected publications, the author, it seems, propagates narratives similar to those of Russia, either explicitly or subtly, throughout the text.

For more information about Glenn Greenwald and the narratives he promotes, you can find it in this video.

To avoid falling for hostile disinformation, it’s crucial to fact-check the sources that disseminate information. It is likely that fact-checkers have already debunked the fakes from Western “experts.” Additionally, pay attention to the news itself and assess whether there are any similarities in the text or specific statements with the narratives commonly used by Russia.


The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations