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In some parts of the world, war in Ukraine seems justified

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In some parts of the world, war in Ukraine seems justified

“When I began to watch the war carefully, all I saw was the first to die is the truth,” Caetano said, citing baseless claims circulating online, such as Ukraine hiring actors to show it. It is maintained that they were wounded and biological weapons laboratories funded by the United States.

In China, the state media has done much to promote false stories about what is unfolding in Ukraine.

Outlets have republished official Russian propaganda without verification, including false reports that Ukraine was using civilians as human shields and that President Volodymyr Zelensky had left Kyiv.

While Chinese officials have not explicitly supported the Kremlin’s actions, they framed the invasion as a rational decision to counter aggression by Russia from the West, and in particular the United States.

37-year-old Zhang Han has been fond of that messaging. Mr. Zhang, a programmer at a technology company in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said he was initially surprised by Mr. Putin’s actions. But he said he also sympathized with the Russian leader’s desire to absorb Ukraine and pointed to China’s ambition to unite with Taiwan, which Beijing has long claimed.

“Of course, I pity the position of the Ukrainians and hope that the war can end soon,” he said. “But that’s the mindset of a big country.”

In Vietnam, state officials have also attempted to control the narrative about the war. Two editors of a Vietnamese online magazine and a state broadcaster said they had been issued instructions on reporting on the war including reducing the extent and frequency of coverage and banning the word “invasion”. Both asked to remain anonymous for fear of government reprisal.

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Wuong Kwok Hung, a 36-year-old stockbroker from Hanoi, said he grew up watching documentaries and films on national television about Soviet Red Army heroes fighting Nazi Germany during World War II. He said that he fell in love with Russia.

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