Kremlin propaganda out to conquer the world
Television, newspapers, websites, armies of trolls. There are several way the Russian government spends loads of dollars to create a parallel reality, sorting the desired effect. Having already lobotomized Russians, the new propaganda target is the world.
- Friday, 06 March 2015
RT is the proof. With its 2,000 employees, more than 100 countries and six languages in which it is broadcasted (in addition to Russian, English, Arabic, Spanish, German and French), Russia Today is the most effective way the Russian government exports its vision of world. Russians are no longer the only target, already sedated by the media isolation in which Putin has confined them. Now, Kremlin wants to export its Orwellian machine in the world, spreading the parallel universe in which the Russians live already a year.
Moscow spares no expense. The only RT has a budget of $ 300 million a year, set as a mandatory minimum by Putin himself. A little less than the annual budget of BBC News.
Not enough. An army of trolls has invaded social networks and discussion forums. They're all behind their PCs in an anonymous building on Savushkina 55 in St. Petersburg. They are hired by the Agentstvo Internet Issledovanii, a company linked to the government, work on night shifts and are paid about 400 Euros per month to pour thousands of pro-Kremlin comments on Western media web pages.
Why do I say that the Russians live in a parallel universe already a year? An example. A friend of mine who lives in Italy for nearly two decades, went visit her parents in St. Petersburg, as every year. She found her father a bit grumpy. "What happened?", She said. The father comes out with the story that basically, after twenty years, it should already time she returned home, in Russia. "Dad, but my house is now in Italy. I married an Italian man and I have a son there." So her father replied that she is ungrateful, that she is a traitor of the Motherland, that she should leave her Italian husband, bring the child to Russia and raise him there with a Russian man. She was shocked, because her father, she said, is not just the kind that. She said she does not recognize him, he is sitting and watching TV all the time.
One more story? Well, another friend, from Novosibirsk but living in Moscow. She was with foreign friends in a restaurant in central Moscow. They were speaking about everything and anything, and about politics, in English. In the middle of the meal, the waiter brings the check and a note: "Your talks are not welcome here. Pay for the bill and leave. Thank You". In the center of the megalopolis, not a village in the heart of the taiga.
People tell me stories like these everyday.
The version of Moscow
The mission of shaping public opinion at home has been accomplished. Not too difficult, and in a very short time. Now, the powerful and oiled propaganda machine is running outside border. And the first results are already visible.
Kremlin experts and commenters cannot avoid noticing a growing support in the Kremlin in many European countries. Not a simple tune, but more visceral adherence to Putin’s views. It is no coincidence. Because the long arm of Kremlin controlled media is among us. From the local editions of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta (the official organ of the Kremlin published in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, greek, Korean, Serbian-Croatian, Bulgarian, Arabic and Indonesian), to the infinite means offered by the Internet, the "version of Moscow" infiltrates everywhere. We have seen it even in these days, with the murder of Boris Nemtsov: the ridiculous version that blames the CIA for his assassination was first propagated by mainstream media - gaining an obvious success - and then be exported with subtle methods of the web, taking roots among conspiracy lovers. Because trolls are at work.