Russians turning off endless pro-war propaganda: study
Russian television propaganda is so boring that a quarter of the audience has switched off since the invasion of Ukraine, a survey suggests.
The Moscow Times reported on a survey by the independent Rosmir research centre which found 65 per cent of respondents said they watched Russian state television compared with 86 per cent in February.
The Kremlin uses the state media to mould public opinion and justify Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
State-endorsed news and analysis on the state-backed Channel One, Rossiya 1 and NT broadcast propaganda and the main presenters, like Kremlin’s favourite Vladimir Solovyov, have acquired celebrity status.
The Russian state television is referred to as “the zombie box” by Russian opposition figures while the Kremlin has tripled spending on propaganda efforts in the six months since the invasion.
In February the channels were purged of almost all light entertainment shows. Channel One has broadcast around 16 hours a day to current affairs and news programmes featuring Kremlin-apologists who say Ukraine is a “Nazi” state being “liberated” in the “special operation” rather than using the word “war”. Pundits have called on the Kremlin to launch nuclear missiles at the UK, sterilise anti-war campaigners and “demilitarise” Nato.
Russian television this week said military targets in the UK soil should be attacked if British soldiers are deployed in Ukraine.
Pundit Igor Korotchenko said Russia does not want war with the UK but would react harshly if any of its soldiers were sent to the frontline.
Speaking on Russia One, Korotchenko said the Kremlin “reserved the right to resort to any possible action” if British soldiers engaged with the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.
There has been no suggestion of UK forces being deployed in Ukraine.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin aims to control people’s access to information by banning all opposition websites, Facebook and Instagram. Some citizens bypass the bans using virtual proxy networks (VPNs), which mask user locations. The use of VPNs has risen from 9 per cent of Russia’s population in 2021 to 24 per cent this year or 35 million people.
“Russians are tired of propaganda,” wrote the Moscow Times, an independent website whose staff were forced to flee Russia in February.
Polling indicates that between 55 and 70 per cent of Russians back the war in Ukraine, Kremlin critics say people are afraid to speak their minds. Citizens have been arrested and are facing up to 15 years in prison on charges of “discrediting” the Russian armed forces.
The Russian media is struggling to disguise the shortcomings of Russia’s armed forces. Picture credit: Wikimedia