ICYMI: Talking About Russian Propaganda in 2015


As Jason and Matthew sleep off their holiday induced Turkey Comas, War College presents an episode from the early days of the show. Here’s what we said back then—

The media in Russia is lively, often entertaining and largely state controlled. Still, an illusion of freedom remains key for the Kremlin to maintain its grasp over a country that spans 11 time zones.

In this episode of War College, we look at how Russian president Vladimir Putin crafts his message for both internal and external consumption.

For many in the West, watching Russian TV is like staring into a broken mirror. At first glance, networks such as RT seem like any other channel, but viewers who watch long enough are treated to a bevy of bizarre pundits and conspiratorial spin.

That’s by design.

We’re speaking with journalist, author and former Russian TV producer Peter Pomerantsev. His book Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible explores Putin’s postmodern dictatorship and how the Kremlin uses television to control the country.

“If Stalin was 75 percent violence and 25 percent propaganda,” Pomerantsev explains. “Putin is 75 percent propaganda and 25 percent violence.”

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