Sputnik : The Kremlin’s Propaganda

Stop fake.org – U.K. News 24 based article.

Out of the ashes of RIA Novosti, the respected Russian state news agency that was dissolved last year, a curious, postmodern kind of bird has emerged. It’s called Sputnik, and it’s the Kremlin’s latest foreign-facing outlet, designed to counter “propaganda promoting a unipolar world.”

The outlet launched on Monday, and even as its head, Dmitry Kiselyov, took to a Moscow stage to insist that Sputnik will serve up a more objective kind of news, it’s obvious what it really is: yet another compliant outlet to trumpet the Kremlin line. “We will provide alternative interpretations that are, undoubtedly, in demand around the world,” Kiselyov said.

The propaganda war propping up Putin and his cronies has reached new heights with the bombing campaign in Syria. When Vladimir Putin spoke before the UN General Assembly last week, he proclaimed the need for an international coalition to destroy ISIS. But when Putin then went to war in Syria, his fighter jets began by rocketing everyone opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad except ISIS. At a superficial level.

Russian Soft Power In Central Asia :

The Kremlin surprised nearly everyone when it unleashed its media machine on the world after the pro-Moscow president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was chased from power in February 2014 and Ukraine fell into division and conflict. Moscow’s version of events was available on television, radio, and in print media in dozens of languages in dozens of countries and the selective storytelling of these outlets succeeded in raising doubts.

Selling Your Soul to Mr. Putin :

The Kremlin’s propaganda machine has been disrupting public discourse in the European Union not only through media outlets like RT and Sputnik, but also by luring European journalists, analysts, and even popular actors to support Russia’s stance. Elena Servettaz identifies several Putin apologists in the French media. Last week, Russian Facebook was buzzing with news of the resignation of Konstantin Goldenzweig, NTV’s Berlin bureau chief, after 15 years of service. 

Russian propaganda wins EU hearts and minds :

Kremlin media are shaping the views of a sizeable pro-Russia constituency in the EU, experts and officials warn. The numbers show, according to US pollster Pew, that one in three Germans and one in four French people think the EU should relax Russia sanctions. Overall approval of Russian leader Vladimir Putin is down in Europe. But one in four Germans, especially in east Germany

Sputnik Misleads with Outdated Photo :

Sputnik International published news about the “economic collapse” of Ukraine on April 25. The report claims that Ukrainians need to tighten their belts, as inflation rises and the GDP falls. The report was accompanied by a photo of a shop with empty shelves,
However, the photo was taken in Lviv on February 25, though it is not mentioned in the article.

Sputnik Launches Danish Language Website :

The Sputnik multimedia news agency has announced the launch of its Norwegian language web site. The new media resource, no.sputniknews.com, offers diverse perspectives on major international topics. Sputnik’s websites reflect today’s multipolar world and are geared toward audiences interested in comparing alternative points of view. The Norwegian language website is the latest addition to the family of Sputnik news resources in English, French, Serbian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Polish, Italian, Czech, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean etc … But wait

Sputnik also Launches Norwegian Language Website :

The Sputnik multimedia news agency has announced the launch of its Norwegian language web site. The new media resource, no.sputniknews.com, offers diverse perspectives on major international topics from the Kremlin’s perspective of course, and Like RT, Sputnik slickly remixes President Vladimir Putin’s brand of revanchist nationalism for an international audience, presenting the United States as an ailing imperial power bent on holding on to its domains. But whereas RT functions more like a tabloid news service, Sputnik looks to be presenting a kind of propaganda that’s very much rooted in 2014. RT, one might say, is the Daily Mail of Kremlin propaganda — aggressive, brash, and often ridiculous. (One headline from its homepage: “Cockroaches to the rescue: ‘Cyborg’ insects can help save people trapped in earthquakes.”) Sputnik, meanwhile, is like its BuzzFeedequivalent: cheeky, Internet-savvy, smarter.

Out of the ashes of RIA Novosti, the respected Russian state news agency that was dissolved last year, a curious, postmodern kind of bird has emerged. It’s called Sputnik, and it’s the Kremlin’s latest foreign-facing outlet, designed to counter “propaganda promoting a unipolar world.”

The outlet launched on Monday, and even as its head, Dmitry Kiselyov, took to a Moscow stage to insist that Sputnik will serve up a more objective kind of news, it’s obvious what it really is: yet another compliant outlet to trumpet the Kremlin line. “We will provide alternative interpretations that are, undoubtedly, in demand around the world,” Kiselyov said.

Like RT, Sputnik slickly remixes President Vladimir Putin’s brand of revanchist nationalism for an international audience, presenting the United States as an ailing imperial power bent on holding on to its domains. But whereas RT functions more like a tabloid news service, Sputnik looks to be presenting a kind of propaganda that’s very much rooted in 2014. RT, one might say, is the Daily Mail of Kremlin propaganda — aggressive, brash, and often ridiculous. (One headline from its homepage: “Cockroaches to the rescue: ‘Cyborg’ insects can help save people trapped in earthquakes.”) Sputnik, meanwhile, is like its BuzzFeedequivalent: cheeky, Internet-savvy, smarter.

It’s only the site’s first day in operation, but judging by its output so far, Sputnik seems to be taking a slightly edgier approach to propaganda. Or at least trying to. An article headlined “Kiev’s Top 5 Mistakes That Made Eastern Ukraine Crisis Worse” blasts the pro-Western government for labeling pro-Russian rebels “terrorists,” for shelling civilian areas, and for allying with disreputable militia groups. It’s certainly not an innovative way to present Putin’s take on the crisis, but it does succeed in repackaging it as a web-friendly “listicle” while failing to mention the many ways Moscow has made the crisis work.

Another article examines the different names used to describe the self-proclaimed Islamic State, concluding that the media’s frequent use of the ISIL acronym “ultimately made it easier to convince Americans — and the rest of the alliance — of the need for an Iraqi and Syrian War.” Even if that argumentdoesn’t quite ring true, the article represents a kind of news analysis that an outlet like RT doesn’t typically engage in.

A similar article argues that the reported killing or wounding of Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi won’t seriously harm the group. And that’s an argument that makes a great deal of sense.

The highlight of Sputnik’s opening day content is a piece looking at independence movements around the world, which serves as justification for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. A listicle of global secession efforts, the article lumps Crimea in with Scotland, Spain’s Catalonia region, the Italian region of Veneto, and Miami. Yes, Miami. “To be clear, the southern half of the panhandle state isn’t looking to create the world’s newest nation and form a standing army of sun-bleached blonde models and Disney characters (Orlando would be in the newly created state),” the author writes. “Rather, they are looking to establish America’s newest state with its own legislative body and the ability to protect itself from an encroaching force: the ocean.”

Taken together, Sputnik’s content is beating a predictable drum of anti-Western rhetoric, but it’s doing so in such a way that is building up a more robust ecosystem for pro-Kremlin views. Its slick, modern logo and elegant design call to mind a reputable media outlet, and it functions as a lighter complement to RT’s more obviously neo-Soviet aspirations. Now, when Putin wants an un-ironic listicle of his Top 10 Manly Moments, he has someone to call, and  …
When In Doubt, Blame The West :

News in the section ‘Context’ are not fakes. We publish them in order to keep you informed about events concerning the information war between Ukraine and Russia

So Russia went there after all.

The crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 in Egypt on October 31, which killed all 224 people on board, was more than the worst aviation disaster in the country’s history.

Once it became clear that the cause of the crash was probably terrorism, it also became a messaging nightmare for the Kremlin’s propaganda machine.

Since Russia’s Syria campaign began, Kremlin officials and the state media have been framing it as a painless war that was boosting Moscow’s international prestige. All patriotic citizens needed to do was sit back and enjoy the grainy footage of terrorists being obliterated by Russia’s shiny new military machine.

The deaths of hundreds of Russian civilians threatened to change that, especially after Islamic State claimed responsibility and the evidence that a bomb — and not technical failure — destroyed the aircraft mounted.

Suddenly the Syria campaign wasn’t cost-free anymore.

So Russian state media did what came naturally: they blamed the West.

Sputnik got the ball rolling with a piece on November 6 claiming that “British officials have made an unseemly leap to speculate on a terrorist plot in the Russian airliner crash over Sinai last weekend.”

The story concluded: “The confidence by which these assessments of terror methodology are being made raises an even more troubling, darker question: was it really terrorists, or was it British MI6 agents palming the deed off as terrorists?”

On the same day, the conspiracy website WhatDoesItMean.com published an article claiming that Russia had captured two “CIA assets who are believed to have masterminded the downing of Flight 9268.”

And then came Dmitry Kiselyov.

On his flagship news show Vesti Nedeli on Russian state television, the bombastic pundit suggested on November 8 that it was suspicious that after two years of U.S. air strikes against Islamic State, no American passenger planes have been targeted. And yet a Russian civilian aircraft was downed after just 40 days into Russia’s military campaign in Syria.

Kiselyov went on to suggest that the United States and its allies cut a deal with Islamic State “not to touch the civilian aircraft of the Western Coalition.” He added that “dividing terrorists into good ones and bad ones is standard practice for the West. If the terrorist is targeting Russia, he’s a good terrorist and even a supporter of democracy.”

Writing on his blog, Anton Shekhovtsov, a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute and a research associate at the Kyiv-based Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation noted that “this version may seem absurd to everyone who is not prone to conspiracy theories, but it is also extremely dangerous. It means that, indeed, the consolidation of Putin’s criminal regime at home is far more important for the Kremlin than the international cooperation, and that Moscow is ready to escalate its war on the West.”

The Kremlin could have used the downing of Flight 9268 to repair its relations with the West, Shekhovtvov noted. They could have made the argument that: “the Russians are fighting the war on international terrorism, and Russia and the West are in this together, hence Russia is no longer a pariah state, so do lift the sanctions and accept us to the club of the global powers.”

But, of course, they chose another route.

“The Kremlin keeps on instilling anti-Western hatred into the Russian society by feeding it with conspiracy theories, and this hatred may lead to psychological acceptance of even more aggressive approach towards the West,” Shekhovtvov wrote.

“As Voltaire wrote, ‘those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.’”

Blaming the tragedy of Metrojet Flight 9268 on the West might work at home. But that will do little to change the dynamic that Moscow has set in motion with its Syria campaign.

“The Kremlin’s propaganda channels feted the air strikes against Syrian rebels as a sign that the country was once again a geopolitical force to be reckoned with,” veteran Kremlin-watcher Edward Lucas, author of “The New Cold War,” wrote in The Telegraph.

image

        Getty image.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s