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In a recent article about Russian toy soldiers of the “polite people”/зелёные человечки/#LittleGreenMen who invaded Crimea in 2014, @joannaplucinska says the set includes a cat “for reasons that aren’t clear.” So time for a thread on Russia’s use of cats in #NewTypeWarfare! 1/
Feline operators are a key part of the myth and iconography of Russian “polite people." During the 2014 invasion of Crimea, heartwarming photos of Russian soldiers handing cats to friendly Crimean civilians went viral (likely promoted by Russian bots). 2/
Russian soldiers love their cats, which are usually called Mashka (Машка) by long-standing custom of obscure origins. In 2014, Russian forces used displays of affection to cats to convince Crimeans that they were really “here to help,” a major Russian propaganda theme. 3/
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