Since President Vladimir Putin began consolidating the country’s news media under his control in 2000, the Kremlin’s indoctrination machine has not stopped growing.
While previously it was more subtle and nuanced, Russian propaganda has become more outrageous and in-your-face since Ukraine’s EuroMaidan Revolution, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, and the Kremlin’s March annexation of Crimea. Now it resembles Josef Stalin-era rhetoric as the last independent media are being squashed.
The pursuit of truth is not on the agenda. Demonization of Ukraine is now the main focus of the Kremlin’s propaganda, with Ukrainian events accounting for the bulk of news coverage. While previously a key task of state-controlled Russian television was to vilify the opposition, now a major goal is to label major Ukrainian politicians as “fascists,” without pointing out the relatively low support for far-right groups among the Ukrainian population or the presence of neo-Nazis among Russian-backed insurgents.