Russia's education ministry airs invasion propaganda video (Update: 'Everything that’s not propaganda is being eliminated')

When tanks started rolling into Ukraine last week, President Putin held a meeting with the country’s oligarchs:

The Russian president, seated about 20ft away in a conspicuous social-distancing measure, told them he had “no other choice” but to invade Ukraine — and, if they wanted to keep their businesses, neither did they, according to people briefed on the meeting.


This morning it appears that same message was being aimed at Russia’s children. Russia’s education ministry put out a 30 minute special hosted by a girl who looks about 11 years old. The point was to explain in very sympathetic terms what is now happening in the country. A writer for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project live tweeted the show:

It sounds like everyone was trying very hard not to say the word “invasion” in reference to Ukraine.


Finally we get to the invasion last week and, of course, the message is that Russia had no other choice.

Boogeyman alert:

Random thought: Did they try to pick a girl who looked a bit like Greta Thunberg?


Definitely don’t believe any video of Russian’s shelling civilians, kids.

And that’s where it ended. After it was over Lozovsky wrote another thread with a few thoughts.

On a related note, a professor of finance from the University of Illinois published a letter she received from a fellow academic inside Russia. Tatyana Deryugina explained she’d spend several days emailing Russian academics and was given permission to publish an English translation of one response.


Here’s a portion of that response. He listed four reasons why more people aren’t protesting and two of those reasons involved propaganda.

Here is also my view as to why the Russian people are not protesting en masse:

  1. Negative influence of the USSR: beginning with the immigration after 1917 and Stalinist purges and ending with the destruction of the will to live freely to the falling apart of the country. People didn’t live normally and so don’t want to live normally now, those who protest are mostly very young.
  2. A non-trivial share of the people are idiots. They can’t or, for many reasons, don’t want to absorb non-one-sided information and just want to be “outside of politics”. And the most accessible information is, sadly, propaganda.
  3. Propaganda is literally EVERYWHERE. On TV it reaches absurd proportions, and besides that special bot farms write a huge number of online comments, forming a false public opinion and swaying those who are uncertain to their side.

So I guess the point is that as silly as the propaganda may seem to those of us outside Russia, inside Russia it works.

Finally, have to note that it was not a good day from Russian propaganda here in the US. RT America has laid off its entire staff and won’t be coming back.

RT America will cease productions and lay off most of its staff, according to a memo from T&R Productions, the production company behind the Russian state-funded network, which CNN obtained.

Misha Solodovnikov, the general manager of T&R Productions, told staff in the memo that it will be “ceasing production” at all of its locations “as a result of unforeseen business interruption events.”

“Unfortunately, we anticipate this layoff will be permanent, meaning that this will result in the permanent separation from employment of most T&R employees at all locations,” Solodovnikov wrote.


Last week Reuters reported that Russia’s Ruptly channel based in Berlin has also been seeing a staff exodus after employees were told not to use the word “invasion” to describe what Russia was doing in Ukraine. You love to see Putin’s propaganda network go poof.

Update: Sadly also ending today, the last vestiges of free media in Russia.

On Thursday, the pillars of Russia’s independent broadcast media collapsed under pressure from the state. Echo of Moscow, the freewheeling radio station founded by Soviet dissidents in 1990 and that symbolized Russia’s new freedoms, was “liquidated” by its board. TV Rain, the youthful independent television station that calls itself “the optimistic channel” said it would suspend operations indefinitely.

And Dmitri Muratov, the journalist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said that his newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which survived the murders of six of its journalists, could be on the verge of shutting down as well.

“Everything that’s not propaganda is being eliminated,” Mr. Muratov said.


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John Sexton 10:40 PM | June 24, 2024