Analysis of the News: „Katasonov: Putin is preparing Russia for a catastrophe of planetary proportions!“

Published on:

June 2024.

As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Katasonov: Putin is preparing Russia for a catastrophe of planetary proportions!

On pro-Russian and pro-regime portals in Serbia, at the beginning of June, terrifying news appeared about the alleged activation and “awakening of the Yellowstone volcano in the United States of America.” This worrisome thesis advocated by the Russian economist Valentin Katasonov to cause fear, while the media additionally use it with alarming headlines to attract as much reader attention as possible.

Russian economist Valentin Katasonov, for the Youtube channel Assembly Point, states that the United States of America is in ever-increasing debt that it is unable to pay back and is therefore forced to cause a global catastrophe. “After such a planetary cataclysm, as the expert explained, no one will turn to the USA for the return of money.” According to the economist, the most likely scenario of causing a catastrophe on a global scale is the awakening of the Yellowstone volcano in the United States of America. In addition, Katasonov says that humans can cause this event with the help of artificial intervention.

“As soon as this disaster begins, the stock market and the entire financial system in general will cease to function in the US.” A mass evacuation of people will be organized from the country to other continents and countries, Katasonov predicted.” A Russian economist assumes that the eruption will cause a mass migration of Americans to Russia, especially to Siberia and the Far East, which will be considered a relatively safe place during this global cataclysm.

However, if the eruption of this volcano were to happen, there would be no safe place for people to live. In September 2014, a team of scientists published a paper in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems that explores what a Yellowstone super-eruption might look like. As the scientists explained, the worst damage would come from volcanic ash – a combination of shattered rock and glass – that would be thrown miles into the air and scattered across the ground. Such an amount of volcanic ash can cause the deaths of people, plants, and animals. Even a thin layer of ash, which would cover a large part of the country, can destroy infrastructure. In addition, air traffic in North America would be completely suspended. Collective starvation would occur as supply chains would be disrupted. According to scientists, such an eruption would also temporarily cool the planet and have significant effects on the global climate.

To begin with, Katanasov did not present any evidence that such eruption could be artificially induced. In this case, the changes in world trade that would result from this eruption would not be the least bit important. Katanasov believes that the global dollar system will sink into oblivion and that the authorities in the US will have an excuse to freeze their public debt indefinitely, which means that countries and companies that at one time invested in US government debt by buying treasury bonds simply lose their money. All dollar savings would also be reset to zero.

The Russian economist here deals with serious conspiracy theories, for which he provides absolutely no evidence, in addition to the fact that his opinion contradicts all scientific works on this topic, which state that the chances of such an eruption are enormously small. If it were to happen, the status of the dollar and the global financial system would become irrelevant compared to the consequences that the eruption would have on life on Planet Earth.

Behind such misinformation usually stands a clear intention to harm a certain state or individual, or in this case to indirectly praise the actions of a state, group or individual, causing harm to another state. Thus, the Russian economist practically invented a story about the artificial activation of a supervolcano that would destroy the dollar to emphasize that the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is “the only world leader who is preparing for this disaster”, given that he has abolished the use of the dollar.

The text on the Alo portal mentions that “Putin warned that the American ruling elite will have to organize this disaster simply because there is no other way out of the current situation.” Katanasov adds that this is exactly the circumstance that should result in a cataclysm and that “the American elite always keeps this option ready, and if the situation worsens, they will start decisive action in that direction.”

It is extremely dangerous to present such misinformation that can create anxiety and fear for one’s own survival among citizens, and it is even more dangerous when such news is published on all pro-regime portals. The problem with this disinformation is that conspiracy theorists generally seize the minimal chance of escalating a disaster and then use it to spread their propaganda. ISAC already covered one of such narratives in its previous analyses, where the pro-Russian media in Serbia reported that “Moscow has a weapon that will shut down all telephones and internet in the world!” It is only necessary to include common sense and understand that no country is ready to take extreme steps that would threaten the survival of humanity in that country but also the whole world.

Author: Nataša Stanojević