All is fair in war, but Americans, whose grandparents and great-grandparents defeated Nazis and their propaganda machine a few decades ago, should be a little more skeptical than they currently are.

Case in point: In November, Georgia Republican and political gadfly Marjorie Taylor Greene posted on X that, “Anyone who votes to fund Ukraine is funding the most corrupt money scheme of any foreign war in our country’s history.”

Then she reposted a “report” that friends of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had used U.S. aid money to buy two personal yachts worth $75 million each.

As other X users noted at the time, this was proven Russian propaganda, spread by something called the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Now, The Washington Post has done a deep dive, showing how Russian propagandists have relentlessly used social media to undermine support for Ukraine in the United States, writing “thousands of fabricated news articles.” These sound just true enough to capture the hearts and typing fingers of those not predisposed to verify sources.

Which apparently includes a lot of Americans.

As 2020 elections heat up, would you expose a false rumor about your political opponent?

The Post said it reviewed more than 100 documents provided by a European intelligence service and dated from May 2022 to August 2023. These were part of “a series of leaks” that show how Russia is trying to sabotage support for Ukraine in the United States, as well as in France and Germany.

In January of 2023, the report said, the Kremlin employed political strategists who already were working to weaken Europe’s support of Ukraine, and enlisted them to do the same in the United States. These strategists employ “dozens of troll farm employees and translators.”

One focus of this campaign was to spread lies about corruption in Ukraine.

Propaganda is an effective tool in any war. The Post’s report last weekend came amid news that Ukrainian forces are in serious trouble, in part because Congress has stalled in its efforts to send more aid.

Writing recently in Foreign Affairs, Dara Massicot, senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said time is running out.

“Without a surge in Western military aid and major changes to Kyiv’s strategy, Ukraine’s battlefield position will continue to worsen until it reaches a tipping point, possibly by this summer,” she said.

However, she wrote, it’s not too late.

“When Ukrainian forces are sufficiently manned, supplied, and entrenched, however, they have shown that they can inflict high costs on Russian forces and frustrate Russia’s ability to convert its on-paper advantages into decisive gains,” she said.

This is not just a position held by left-leaning news sources. The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page recently denounced U.S. resistance to sending more aid, something for which it blames the Biden administration. It argued that victory by Vladimir Putin would be disastrous. “The U.S. would look like a feckless friend, and Europe would be the most unstable since Stalin was on the march.”

The Washington Post said Zelenskyy still has strong support, but that Ukraine’s unity is fraying. Recruiting new soldiers has become difficult. Meanwhile, observers say it’s unrealistic to think Zelenskyy can return Ukraine’s borders to their 1991 configuration, as he has promised.

Opinion: ‘If the bomb hits us, the bomb hits us.’ How Ukraine’s plight is tied to Utah

Putin, meanwhile, must be pleased with his propaganda campaign. However, just because this effort seems focused on American conservatives, liberals should not feel smug or superior. In a hyper-partisan atmosphere, all sides are vulnerable to half-truths and subliminal prompts.

Which, of course, puts the foundational concept of the United States at risk.

Going back to that larger conflict that ended 79 years ago, it was Adolph Hitler who said, “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous.

“In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”

Contrast that cynicism, that contempt for the intelligence of the people, with Thomas Jefferson. He said, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.”

Self-governance always has had trouble navigating the hairpin turns on the edges of propaganda and disinformation. Yet our republic has survived.

It remains to be seen whether the current generation, faced with challenges on several foreign fronts, can stop struggling over ideological steering wheels long enough to keep that record intact.