Information wars and thick media overlays establish Russia’s propaganda strategy – The Organization for World Peace
During the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the emerging narrative gap between portrayals of the war in Western and Russian media outlets grew steadily wider. In a new analysis report from the New York Times, they explored Russian media images and noted massive inconsistencies in the portrayal and explanation of facts, images and events from the center of the conflict. Since “much of the Russian news media are tightly controlled by the Kremlin, with state television serving as the mouthpiece of the government”, recalls the Time, information is the main vehicle of Kremlin propaganda. “Russian television’s convoluted and sometimes contradictory accounts of the war are not only meant to convince viewers that their version of events is true,” the report states. what to believe. »
Instead of providing information and analysis to citizens, Russian media obscure the facts of their engagement with Ukraine. When a population is denied information, it lacks the power to make moral judgments or form opinions about domestic politics and its implications for foreign affairs. Russia’s regime of information authoritarianism mimics and contributes to the Kremlin’s tight control over its political culture, as well as the national culture of public opinion.
The Russian and Western insistence on adapting narratives in the interest of ensuring moral justification for acts of war is a step in creating the renewed mythos of national culture on which all countries rely. But “Russians who get their truth from state media live in an alternate reality,” CNN Business recounts, based on an interview with press analyst Madeline Roache. “Experts say Putin’s programming still has a very firm grip on Russian public opinion, despite a slew of real-life news reports from Ukraine that contradict it.”
Understanding oneself – or strategically situating oneself – in the context of a diverse and conflicted global community is an essential part of participating in it. CNN reports: “Jake Tapper said it well on Monday: Russia is engaging in a ‘fierce propaganda war to justify its brutal and unprovoked invasion and to try to cover up the growing number of atrocities and massacres committed against civilians Ukrainians”. seems hasty to assume the prerogative of placing deterministic narrative overlays on events at his whim. Russian propaganda might be enough to justify the war efforts in the country, but history, after all, is decided by the victors.
In the modern conflict climate, a large part of the country engagement strategy involves an information strategy. And the integral role played by intelligence in wartime decision-making has its public face in the national media. the New York Times news analysis project revealed that “on Russian television, the discovery [of brutalized civilian bodies] was instead presented as a hoax, with TV presenters analyzing images and videos for signs of counterfeiting. When the main media outlet is run by the state, the status of the media as propaganda outlets becomes immediately clear. the Jtime report notes that on several occasions “Russian television dissects[s] pictures [to raise] doubts about the Western narrative, often using the same images seen in the West to advance very different accounts of what happened. Propaganda is the name of a mode of interpretation applied to news, involving a distinct set of goals and a strategy for their execution.
Attacks targeting information systems and cyber infrastructures have become a major tool of modern conflicts. Reuters reports that Russia suffered a cyber breach this week, where the RuTube site was inaccessible during the country’s Victory Day celebrations. “Usually packed with video content, RuTube’s site is currently black,” Reuters reported. “Someone really wanted to stop RuTube from showing the Victory Day parade and celebratory fireworks,” RuTube said. “He described the cyberattack as the worst in the site’s history.” The information war continues and Russian national sites are hacked to display messages of condemnation, or “information that contradicts Moscow’s official line on what it calls a ‘special military operation'”. Reuters concludes.
Russia goes to great lengths to control the narrative internally, and breaches like these threaten that control. But as for Russian citizens, for CNN’s Nic Robertson, “It’s no surprise that so many people simply toe the Kremlin lines. It’s the easiest thing for them to do. They see no alternative. They feel helpless and this is information they were fed year after year by Putin and by the Soviet leadership at the time. Dissent, in an authoritarian culture, is heavily sanctioned and heavily punishable. Accepting the Kremlin’s reports might be the path of least resistance for a population accustomed to a national culture controlled, established and imposed by its self-narratives, but something has to change.