Ukraine and Russia are at war…and everybody’s anxious. The West has been slapping sanction after sanction onto Russia but it hasn’t slowed the bear much. Quite the contrary in fact, it seems like Putin’s only now just beginning ramp up his offensive, both in reality and through Russian news propaganda. It’s clearly evident in Russian news channel RT News.
That right, the Big Red Machine’s spin machine and their spin doctors are working overdrive to discredit, diffuse, divert and distract…and I’ve watched it firsthand for the past week.
That’s because I’ve been tuned in to RT News, one of Russia’s premiere news services. It’s also banned in some Western countries and Youtube because it’s labelled as a propaganda arm of the communist state, despite the company claiming to contrary. Hacker collective Anonymous even has it as one of their targets in their cyberwar against Russia.
My time watching RT News has been one filled with constant disbelief as the content gets more and more skewed towards Russia. When I began watching, the war was in its early stages and the channel was a bit more balanced with its coverage.
Sure, it had programs talking about Nazism (Putin claims Ukraine harbours known Neo Nazi groups and support them and its one of his favourite reasons for justifying the attack) and ones that glorified Russia but the news section wasn’t overtly pro Putin.
Hell, it even had news that other places seem to ignore, like the Snake Island soldiers (who reportedly told a Russian Warship to go F themselves when asked to surrender and then died because of it) who Ukraine claimed died heroically were instead POWs. While there’s been no concrete news either way, Ukraine has admitted the possibility of that in recent days.
That only started to subtly change over the weekend.
More and more, the coverage started to ignore the startling truths.
They started to claim that Ukraine’s the aggressor. That Russia would never attack civillian targets. That Ukraine’s government in league with Neo Nazis.
They started to claim more often on the air how the West is mistreating the station because they don’t want to hear the truth. How unfair it is, when all they want to do is bring a balanced viewpoint. They started to bring in far right talking heads into their talk shows who talk about how decadent and bad the West (and America in particular) is.
Their programs started to focus more on the Donbas (a region now occupied by the Russians), with interview subjects being innocent kids (to soften viewers into siding with the rebels no doubt) to portray the Pro-Russian elements as a brave freedom loving people, instead of a group of merciless rebels who’d do anything to win.
They even started to use fiery rhetoric, calling the Russian Federation the former Empire of Evil and the US, the Empire of Lies. The news anchors changed their stance too and started to side with the Russian foreign minister and his ridiculous lies.
It’s all Ukraine doing the killing, which Russia claims is genocide! They’re the ones attacking the civilians! There’s heavy rioting in the streets are pro-Russian Ukrainians are fighting back hard against the current regime.
To somebody who’s exposed to multiple sources of news (such as BBC, CNN or Reuters), it’s really easy to sift through the smokescreen and see the true agenda.
To Russians, who might not have access to other outlets? It’s easy to fall for the lies.
That’s why the Russian government is maintaining an iron grip on its internet. They simply cannot afford to let public opinion be swayed from their truth. Not even Putin can survive the angry public, and I doubt the Russians are adverse to yet another coup, even though it might get very very bloody.
I’ve to got admit though…at times I almost believed the crap RT News spewed. They’re undoubtedly old hands at media manipulation, which isn’t surprising since they’re part of the Russian propaganda machine.
The denials are so earnest that they seem trustworthy.
I don’t know if the newscasters really believe the lies they’re telling but they really do a good job of showing you that everybody else is lying and that Mother Russia is righteous.
The main thing they keep picking on?
The West, and America in particular.
I’m not pro-America but even I can see that some of the things they’ve said are reaching. I do agree on Russia’s point that the US is a hypocrite decrying the invasion when it’s invaded a ton of other countries on similarly nonsensical reasons but that’s it.
I mean unless you have a damn good reason, telling other nations to mind their own business while you’re invading the sovereignty of a country is the height of delusion. We’ve all seen what happened when a failed painter from Austria did it in the 1930s – 40s.
Right now, this isn’t an Us vs Them conflict…yet.
Russians have been rioting against the war for the last couple of days and thousands have been arrested. It’s still Putin’s War, not a Russian one.
That might change in the future if channels like RT manage to successfully brainwash the Russian masses.
That’s why fake news needs to be stamped out immediately and with extreme prejudice.