In 2016 I wrote an analysis I called “Counter-propaganda, Russian style” and, about a year later, another one I called “Re-Visiting Russian Counter-Propaganda Methods“. I ask you to please read them first, especially if you plan to post a comment!
What I tried to show in these articles that, in total contrast from acting like the bad old Soviet propaganda, the modern Russian counter-propaganda does the exact opposite of what most people in the West believe it does: far from suppressing western propaganda, the Kremlin tries its very best to make sure that as many Russians as possible become aware of what the West is saying about them, their country and their values. The Kremlin even PAYS anti-Russian pundits to go on Russian national TV!!!
Why? Simply, because considering the nature of what the western media outlets, and even entire specialized entities, write and say about Russia, the best thing the Kremlin can do is to make darn sure that everybody in Russia becomes aware of it.
During the Cold War, the Soviets had a strict censorship system, entire segments of literature was banned, you could not take certain books across the border and radios like RFE/RL, the BBC or DW were jammed.
Now the OPPOSITE is happening. Some anti-Russian talking heads on, say, DW declares that Putin eats babies for breakfast, and that is immediately aired on the main TV channels, with subtitles! Then it is discussed at length, with the “poor” Russian liberals trying to justify it. It is often quite hilarious to watch.
Another favorite topic on Russian TV are western threats against Russia, or the “master talks to his slave” tone of US Presidents: “we did Napoleon and Hitler and now the Muricans want to talk to us “from a position of strength, even after Kabul!!!” :-)
By the way, this is something the leaders of the West cannot admit, hence their continuous efforts to pay for these propaganda outlets to spew their nonsense and pretend like the Russians are living in an informational vacuum and that “Gulags” are full of freedom loving dissidents :-)
This will never happen, of course, but I believe that if, say, the US Congress decided to defund these propaganda outlets, the Russians would be glad to pay for the costs as what these outlets produce is a dream come true for Putin and the Kremlin!
But, alas, all of the above pertains only to Russian counter-propaganda efforts INSIDE Russia!
Alas, the picture for outside counter-propaganda is much less encouraging…
First, the two big ones RT, both as a TV station and a website, and Sputnik. Initially, I was rather enthusiastic about this alternative to the Cold War crap regurgitated on a daily basis by the western media. And, initially, it worked pretty well. Some shows were outright very good, and certainly good enough to get the western PTB quite hysterical, hence all the (freedom of speech crushing) measures taken by western “democracies” to, if not silence them, then make their work as hard as possible.
A simple conclusion would be “if the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire were so upset about RT and or Sputnik, then the latter must be doing a fantastic job”. Alas, the reality is more complex.
I got a lot of emails from readers asking me about my view of RT and Sputnik and, so far, I did not publicly comment about this. Now I feel that the time has come.
Frankly, I think that RT and Sputnik have tried to appeal to the worst and cheapest base instincts of the folks in the West to increase their audience. The RT website is the worst of them all. Here are just two recent examples:
I have an entire collection of examples of such truly disgusting stuff but I will spare you, and myself, any more these sights. Besides, those who read the RT website regularly already know what I am talking about.
This really begs the question of who their target audience is? I mean, seriously, the kind of folks who enjoy photos of butts and lingerie fights (plenty of such folks here in Florida, especially during “Bike Week”) will never tune into RT or Sputnik in the first place. May the target audience is sexually insecure teenagers? But, frankly, these teenagers won’t go to RT for that, there are other, “better” choices for them out there anyway.
As for those who would turn to RT for the right reasons (getting alternative infos and views) are going to be either bored or disgusted or both by such ridiculous “articles” (I am being kind here…). By the way, the audience which would turn to RT for the right reasons would include plenty of Orthodox Christian and Muslims which makes me wonder: is RT deliberately trying to offend or alienate them?
The shows on RT TV are better, but most of them are boring, just the same folks rehashing the same old same old without any originality. But compared to the very high quality of reporting and debating on the internal Russian TV, most of the shows on RT TV are boring.
As for Sputnik, I can share this about it: in the past, they interviewed me on several occasions. But then, I had to tell them that I would refuse to be interviewed by them. Can you guess why? For two reasons: they would not allow me to mention the 9/11 false flag or to use the term “AngloZionist”. Not even with the usual disclaimer about “the views expressed herein are not etc.”. Need I say more?
The truth is this: I rarely bother with either RT or Sputnik anymore, they bore me and, frankly, make me feel ashamed of a lot of their content.
But it is not just RT or Sputnik, there is much, MUCH worse.
Recently, the Kremlin did something really smart: they (FINALLY!) realized that need to move away from YouTube and released the website Smotrim and a Smotrim Android app (dunno about iStuff, I stay away from Apple/Mac products). Basically, you can think of Smotrim (which means “we watch”) as Russian TV on a website or app. Two problems with that otherwise very very good idea:
- It’s only in Russian
- The apps demands you send it your tel # to send you a back a sign-in code, which mostly does not work at all
On number one, maybe they will make an English version of it, at least for the news programs.
One number two, maybe it is the Empire (and their subservient IT sector like Google) which tries to block the sign-in codes. I had to try many times and finally I used a Canadian flag (since both the USA and Canada share the +1 international code).
So how about NOT asking for such sign-in codes?
There is also another problem with the Smotrim app: it is buggy, and demands a very high bandwidth. And, generally, it is still very “raw”. And they also mix some very interesting shows with, frankly, cheap crap (Russian TV has lots of that too).
At best, it allows Russian expats or Russian speakers in locations with a solid 4G Internet to watch Russian TV shows…
What about the Russian supposed “alternatives” to YouTube or Google?
I tried Rutube.ru and compared to YouTube it is sub-pathetic. And that in spite of the fact that Russia has better/modern Internet connectivity inside Russia than the US does! Then there is Yandex, which is actually pretty good in many ways, but which does not offer any video hosting alternative to YouTube. It does, however, offer a very good search engine, much better, and MUCH “freer” than Google (which de-lists and censors a lot of good sites, both for political reasons or to serve the copywrong interests of US media corporations).
Even worse, on YouTube Russian news channels file copyright complaints if somebody else reposts their videos!! It happened to us several times, and when that happens, we typically use RuTube. But think of the irony: these Russian news channels are, apparently, more concerned with ad revenue than with spreading the message, their *own* message. How stupid (and immoral!) is that?
Okay, let’s say that the Kremlin does not want, or cannot, create a serious alternative to YouTube. What about private corporations like, say, Gazprom, Sberbank or Rosoboronexport who are so awash with money that they could easily invest into a “FreeTube” not only as good, but much better than YouTube (removing the Woke propaganda and commercials would be a good start!). And if all they care about is money, then they could even make money with a real, effective, RussiaTube/FreeTube.
But nothing. Just nothing. Their attitude appears to be “we make gazillions and the rest ain’t our problem”.
And this gets even worse:
Both the Kremlin (Presidential Administration) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia are doing an ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE work in their public information efforts. The worst is the very slow pace at which they translate Putin’s or Lavrov’s speeches, interview or articles. Apparently, the folks running these departments don’t understand that time is of the essence in counter-propaganda efforts! Either that, or they don’t have the money to hire enough translators which, considering the disposable income of the Kremlin is ridiculous.
I worked as both a translator and an interpreter in my life and I can tell you that if give me a budget of about 5 million dollars a year (pennies by modern Russian standards) and I could get all of these very important speeches, interviews or article translated, well, at least overnight and made available on the Internet for all to access and download on the same day. But even with its truly immense financial means, the Kremlin seems to be working with Soviet era attitude about work (“a pretend to work effort is good enough for a pretend pay”).
[Sidebar: official speeches are pre-written, I know, I worked at the UN for several years, and then very quickly corrected if the speaker goes into some impromptu comment or tangent. So here is what the Russians are NOT doing and SHOULD do: each speech by Putin and Lavrov should not only be pre-written (they are), but even their translations into, at least, English, should ALSO be pre-written. Then both the original Russian text and the translated English text can both be very quickly fixed at the same time then immediately released not only to the press corps in Moscow, but POSTED on the Internet. This entire process can take about 2-3 hours MAX after the speaker is done speaking. Yes, I mean exactly that: same day translations are totally doable!]
Typically, both the Presidential Administration and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are several DAYS late with their translations. That is ridiculous and disgraceful. In the past, I even had to ask unpaid volunteers to translate really important documents for the blog simply because somebody in the Kremlin was soundly asleep at the wheel and not caring one bit about what was truly at stake.
When I see how ridiculously slow Russian translations are, I always think that they must believe that, at best, they work for future historians, not for people who vitally, desperately, need these translations today, NOW!
Here is how this impacts me as a blogger: when something happens, say the current crisis in Georgia, I would need access to the info available in Russian to repost on my blog. Why should, say, the Kremlin care about my tiny audience to begin with? For three reasons: a) it ain’t that small at all b) it is a different audience from say, TASS or RIA and c) there are many more bloggers out there who could use this besides me.
If the Kremlin had any desire to get serious about counter-propaganda it could, for example, offer a way for us, bloggers in the West, to easily place a request and then quickly get back info we need, in English! But no, Zakharova gives a weekly briefing to a small audience of accredited journalists (most of them hostile to Russia and, frankly, paid western propagandists) and she considers her job done. The fact that she is a superb spokeswoman gets lost on those who need it most: the PEOPLE of the West (not the western journos in Moscow!).
I actually have a very good opinion of Margarita Simonian. She is trying really hard and she is even sounding another alarm about the fact that Russia needs to develop a truly sovereign Runet, not one depending on a few, Western controlled, Internet traffic backbones. I listened to her on a lot of shows and I am sure that she “gets it”. Having obtained at least one college degree in the US probably made her acutely aware of how comparatively IN-effective the Russian media really is, at least compared to the superb propagandists the AngloZionists have been during the Cold War (since, they mostly look ridiculous, but that is hardly a consolation).
Now let’s list a few truisms:
- Russia is awash with cash
- Russia has some of the best IT experts on the planet
- Russia has a very modern IT infrastructure (including plenty of supercomputers)
- Russia is engaged in an existential war against the Empire, about 80% of which is informational
- Russia is doing a superb job countering western propaganda inside Russia
- Russia’s private sector has rich mega-corporations who very much need “informational support” to sell their products
- Russia has huge numbers of excellent translators
Yet, at the same time
- The RT website caters to the worst western audience possible
- Sputnik is obediently submitting to AngloZionist limits on allowed/prohibited speech
- Russian government websites are slow, badly organized and booooooooooooooooooooring
- The pace of translations of even very important official speeches, documents or interviews is something I would expect from, say, a small Caribbean nation, not a nuclear superpower
So when I hear the nonsense about Russian “troll farms” and “Russian hackers”, I don’t laugh, I want to SOB!
If only it was TRUE!
Just the Russian military by itself could EASILY solve ALL of the problems I listed above.
Furthermore, I come to a conclusion which really bothers me: the Kremlin cares a lot more about the western “officialdom” (western press corps in Moscow) than it cares about REALLY reaching out to the people in the West (or Zone A if you prefer). Yes, they go through the motions, but they don’t really mean it.
Please tell me I am wrong and please explain to me what I see what I see?
Blaming Zakharova and/or Simonian is what some in the “patriotic opposition” often do. I think that they are wrong. Why? Because that implies the Zakharova and Simonian have the means to make things better, but that deliberately don’t. I highly doubt that (for many reasons I don’t want to mention here to stay on topic). And when I hear what Putin and/or Lavrov actually say, they both are also clearly trying their best.
So what is going on and who is to blame (and fire!) here?
My personal guess?
That the Presidential Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are STILL full of those whom I refer to as “Atlantic Integrationists” (as opposed to the “Eurasian Sovereignists”), a reality which some Kremlin mouthpieces have been denying for quite a while now, but whose “fingerprints” I see all over the total mess (and many other “inexplicable” or otherwise contradictory Russian policies).
Of sure, the Atlantic Integrationists are now keeping a low profile or pretending to be patriots, Putin has very effectively weakened them, I would even say defeated them, but only on the internal Russian ideological battlefield. But they have kept their positions and titles and are quietly continuing their sabotage, whether for money from the western alphabet soup or because they want to prove themselves to their western masters.
If my guess is correct, then this is not a counter-propaganda issue, but a national security one!
I am sure that by now there are plenty of readers who would reply that things ain’t so bad, that a lot of good stuff also gets posted by the RT website, and that’s all true. Until you compare with the Russian media inside Russia which stands head and shoulders above its West-oriented counterparts.
One example: there are a few talk shows on Russian TV (“60 mins” for example) which should have interpreters and stenographers on site to immediately (well, almost, with maybe a few hours delay max) fully subtitle these shows and make them available not on YouTube or Smotrim, but on a Russian YouTube equivalent! Or even just the main Vesti evening news!
First, that would show the undeniable fact that there is TRUE ideological diversity on Russian TV (infinitely more than on western TV stations!). Next, it would show the audience int the West some very good reports (for example, Russia has REAL war correspondents, and very good ones at that, unlike the West whose war correspondents usually report from their hotels, sometimes not even from the country they are supposed to be “covering”).
Furthermore, JUST subtitling Russian news/debate shows would make the western media look absolutely ridiculous, especially the propaganda outlets à la RFE/RL or the US CNNNBCFOXCBS gang.
But what can I expect from a government which does not even protect RT journos? They were banned from the French Foreign Ministry (still are, I think?), harassed by both US and UK regulators and the Kremlin only issued some vapid protests.
These flaccid responses only encourage the western powers to further try to disrupt the efforts of RT! Why does Russia symmetrically expel western diplomats and not symmetrically expel western journos? Because of freedom of speech in Russia? Well, the self-same western journos who are not expelled because of the (very real) freedom of speech in Russia NEVER report about that freedom of speech or speak up on behalf of their Russian colleagues when western regimes try to silence them.
Me? I would throw most western journos out Russia with no hesitation whatsoever. None.
Here is the sad truth, folks like Andrei Martyanov, Dmitri Orlov, Bernhard, the Stalker Zone, the Greanville Post, the New Kremlin Stooge and many others are doing the job they do because the folks in Moscow who are paid to do that job don’t. Worse, while none of us can get any financial help from Russia (lest we end up in a US dungeon), we COULD get indirect “informational support” if only the Russian themselves did a halfway decent job. But no, nothing.
Will the folks in Moscow ever get serious about their propaganda efforts? I honestly don’t know. I like to think that Putin is a good man who inherited a terrible system (a hybrid between the late Soviet 80s and “democratic” 90s) which means that there is an entire *generation* of folks produced by that system who are just profoundly amoral and who only pretend to care. And Russia is a immense country, whose huge momentum is very hard to change. It took Putin two decades to transform Russia in so many ways. And there was most definitely much improvement in the Russian media, especially if we compare today media to what Russia had in the 90s! But the flaccid, vapid and otherwise simply boring nature of the Russian counter-propaganda efforts against the multi-BILLION dollar AngloZionist propaganda machine is, in my opinion, simply inexcusable and borders on a gross dereliction of duty (if not treason) by those who are responsible for it.
Those of us in Zone A will continue our struggle against the Empire even in these conditions because we actually believe in what we are doing (those who only pretend and do it for $$$ are now really easy to spot, so I won’t list them here). We will continue to do that no matter how crude, inept, slow and otherwise painfully disappointing our (paid) “counterparts” in Moscow are.
But I, for sure, don’t want to “cover” for them anymore, or pretend like “all is good on the eastern front”. I said what I had to say about them and about my professional opinion of them.
And maybe somebody somewhere in Russia will read this and, finally, act on this?!
Or somebody in Russia can use this rant to make at least some changes?
I am not holding my breath.
UPDATE1: try entering this “Re-Visiting Russian Counter-Propaganda Methods“ site:thesaker.is into the google search engine and see for yourself what you get, then try the same with the DuckDuckGo and compare :-)
UPDATE2: here is what I saw on RT a few mins ago (QED):
Maybe they do not target the western public because the western public has zero influence.
If so, then this is very immoral. How can the Russian criticize the West while at the same time not caring for those in the West who are the first victims of AngloZionist policies?
And if Russia is showing a “false face” (via her counter-propaganda efforts) of Russia to the West, how can she expect the people in the West to see the huge civilizational difference between Russia and the West?
And, finally, if Russia wants to position herself as an alternative to the Empire, then why show her ugliest and most boring aspects, instead of showing her true beauty (of which there is plenty)?
No, no amount of pragmatic considerations can ever offset or justify a lack of true idealism and true faith, both in God and in our fellow human beings.
Could this be a sense of “not my problem”? The way they have no obligation to protect anybody outside of Russia militarily, why should they feel an obligation to protect anybody outside of Russia intellectually or spiritually?
This is my view also; more specifically Russia has given up on the West. Its politics, economy, culture – the whole deal. Not worth the effort trying to counter the bullshit. And who is to say its a strategy that is not working?
If so, why do the feel like they have to add to the vomit spewed by the western media?
Shutting down RT would be more honest, in that case
Just throwing coals on the fire.
@Anonymous (the one who wrote): “The way they [RF] have no obligation to protect anybody outside of Russia militarily”
Russia may, in theory, “have no obligation to protect” but, in practice, RF saved Syria from being destroyed by NATZO and its ISIS headchoppers. Its military prowess guarantees the integrity of Afghanistan. Russia is part of the Axis of Resistance to Anglo Zionazi domination of the world; intellectually, spiritually as well as militarily. The hope of many enslaved people in Western Europe and the U$A is to find a national Putin who will jail the Anglo Zionazi Oligarchs and restore the autonomy of their country.
A desirable result for providing an alternative to the western propaganda is that it could help westerners get a better understanding of Russia. A lot of people in the west think that Russia is a Morder like country where the sun never shines and everybody looks like those old stone faced guys who ran the Soviet Union. Russia could use some positive PR. Most people won’t spend time reading in depth speeches by Putin and Lavrov unfortunately.
It makes sense to try to counter the lies being told about Russia. It is off topic but I never understood why the Trump Administration did not go after the people pushing the Russiagate narrative after Mueller came up empty handed. They never went on offense for some reason even when they had a chance to do so.
I have wondered about this issue for years now.
A country (or its citizens) that can come up with the RT, Ruptly, Sputnik, Yandex and Telegram can surely do better to represent themselves to the rest of the World, let alone to the West.
“No, no amount of pragmatic considerations can ever offset or justify a lack of true idealism and true faith, both in God and in our fellow human beings.”
Unfortunately, we are not living in that world.
Maybe it requires some kind of economic incentive. Truly the Russians can see the economic benefit (and required investment) of making yourself look more attractive then your competitors (adversaries) to the world.
I think in solutions and opportunities, and there are enough solutions for this Russian problem or lack of emphasis, but it requires vision, mind set and directing of peoples and funds.
saker, i think the russians have concluded the western elites are destroying the underlying nations they control irrespective how powerful their control over media and storytelling may be, thus the smartest move to be made allow them to continue while preventing them at the same time from using military power to shore up and or distract from this collapse.
its much easier to clean up a trainwreck after all the pieces stop moving than it is to try and stop the wreck while its in motion.
To try and reply: they do not care because they ( the Russian elites) understand that world depopulation is unavoidable, due to dramatic energy shortages. If you have an enemy that is committing cultural, economic and military suicide, at a time when the world population must decrease (there is not a lot of gas in Russia, maybe 50 years worth), and your enemy is doing all this without you firing a bullet, you focus your energies on other things, and thanks the gods that you are killing two big birds with no stones.
Not only does Russia have no obligations towards anyone, as Hodges says, whatever obligations they might have is towards the Yemeni, the Lebanese, the Taliban, and other people with higher levels of humanity. No one came to help the common Russians in the 1990s, and the West is anyway very far and unable to be a real threat. Before the West comes even the economic development of Central Asia and countries in the Russian sphere.
I must quibble with the idea that Russia is awash in money. It’s not. Standards of living have almost certainly declined in the last 4 years, at least here in Samara. I would not spend any money on propaganda. I am already mildly unhappy about Putin calming energy markets (like some of the smaller parties, I would have driven a much harder bargain), and the internal front really does need some care, as real UR voters around here are very rare indeed (but UR won September 19).
Why should Kremlin spend resources when Biden is delivering remarkable results to his handlers when it comes to the disintegration of the Republic.
Vax Mandates = (Defund the Police + Defund the Military) x (Exterminate America)
And just try to read latest RT’s article about Djokovic.
All that in the moment when western media machine is trying to dismember him into pieces.
What is next? Knife in the back like what they’ve done to Monika Seles.
Russian propaganda is hurting everyone else except West.
Excellent well-written article, Saker. I took the opportunity to throw a little more $ your way. Thanks for all you do.
You are so right in your entire analisis! i am learning Russian but yet I ca’t understand much of Russian Language. And I created some time ago a FB group about Russia and President Putin, in Portuguese Language; this is not a big group but there are beyond the Portuguese and Brasilian people, also people from Angola, Moçambique, Guine- Bissau, Cao-Verde, S. Tomé e Principe, etc. Some of them studied in Russia and know Russian, but the majority don’t and even lots of them can’t read in English. When Putin talks to the press we have to wait several days to read the English translation and share it.
I sincerely hope that someone in the Kremlin will read your words!
When Putin talks to the press we have to wait several days to read the English translation and share it.
I know, this gets me so mad, I want to command a firing squad :-)
I sincerely hope that someone in the Kremlin will read your words!
The Kremlin has no use for me. First, they don’t control me. Second, I do not recognize the Moscow Patriarchate as the legitimate Russian Orthodox Church. Third, I did work in the past as an analyst for the Swiss Strategic Intel service – these are all “red marks” which the Kremlin won’t ignore.
Besides, my loyalty is to Christ first, and the Russian nation second, not the current or any other occupant of the Kremlin.
They don’t like that.
Dear Andrei. I share you frustration.
But Maybe we are missing a point because we see the world through the lens of the Golden rule:
Treat thy neighbor like you would like to be treated yourself.
Empires, usually contains multiple ethnicities and several religions. To influence such a diverse population is hampered by the educational, religious and cognitive ability of the population.
What if the majority does not believe in, or are never taught the golden rule.
Maybe the majority don’t want to adhere to the Golden rule.
Maybe the majority prefers to be Comfortably Numb, until the pain hits them right between the eyes?
Then we are left to influence our fellow man only via his Basic instinct (the reptile brain).
Isn’t that what both CNN, WP, BBC, RT, Sputnik and most MSM News outlets are trying to do?
How do we counter such a propaganda barrage of stupidity?
When in most cases the facts and words of sanity arrives to the majority, too late to counter the damage done by propaganda. As has been the case during the Global war on terror, and the now 2 year long COVID insanity.
On that point Andrei hits the head of the nail, by criticizing the delay of reply from Kremlin.
The Global awakening is slow and frustrating.
Never the less, sanity is gaining momentum because the consequences of the insane policies is becoming obvious for the majority.
I think that Andrei is selling himself short. This post is making a difference albeit maybe not a large one. It has been a great resource for a US citizen like me. Like most in the US who grew up in the US during the Cold War while I did not hate Russia I certainly feared it. I realized that something was wrong after the way the west treated Russia after the end of the cold war. I have learned so much reading posts here. I do repost them regularly on FB.
I recently came across The Kremlin Stories. Putin’s & Lavrov’s speeches were subtitled & translated in English. This is one helpful source, mostly snippets of their speeches
Perhaps RT and Sputnik actuall show the true face of Russia? Namely there is no essential difference at the elite level (the globablists) to the “West”, but the question is just about the infights — which groups gets which share? And the internal shows are just shows, to create a fake image?
I personally know a number of Russians, and they fall exactly in three categories: the russophopic expats (the more intelligent they are, say as mathematicians, the more mad they are), the fifth column (according to them, Putin is quite busy with murdering, must have a double to stage the speeches), and everybody else is deeply depressed by the state of the Russia, due to the endless lies about the Soviet past, and due to the total triumph of neoliberalism (no science anymore at Russian universities, if it doesn’t create some immediate profit).
Rusia doesn’t have an ideological backbone. So when Russians are abroad, they just become “Westeners” after some time (most of them). Which seems quite natural, since Russia just appears very weak, when considered from the “West”.
Perhaps RT and Sputnik actuall show the true face of Russia?
This is not the single cause, but surely part of the problem. Yes, enough to watch Russian commercials, or see how some Russian tourists act to see that much in Russia is as bad, or worse, than in the West.
But so what?
The state media’s function is not to feed the folks in the West even more garbage than they are already fed by the AZ propaganda!
There is, for sure, both evil and degrading crap in Russia, including tranny bars and toxic drug abuse, but right next to them you have millions of people who have a different self-image, who try to live according to their civilizational values. Why not more of that? And with no need to lie and pretend like “Holy Russia is back” or any such nonsense.
Furthermore, does the state not have as one of its many functions to show, to educate, to lead by inspiration towards the improvement of society? Maybe not in the West, but in Russia the state has always had that function, however poorly executed, even in the Soviet times.
And this is what I think is the single most important reality to keep in mind:
In the West, the very concepts of good/evil, false/true, moral/immoral, healthy/pathological etc. have been fundamentally abandoned. Not in Russia, at least not yet. Russians might disagree, like all normal free people, about what is good or bad, wrong or right, but they have not (yet) tossed these concepts in the trash.
But RT online clearly has. They make no such distinctions. And, in that sense at least, the MISREPRESENT the true face of Russia and her people.
I tend to agree with you. What is obvious is that the West is far better at propaganda and it does influence Russians. I watch RT as there are several very good shows and some interesting tidbits and human interest stuff on there. RT web site is good for western news but very poor on Russian news. I agree the weird sports stuff is supposed to appeal to a target audience but what that audience is I have no clue. Of interest my alternate AOC in the Army was PSYOPS (now MISO) and targeting civilian populations to support an insurgency is a military goal. Basically, it is advertising and I can very easily see the west is ramming this onto Russians all the time. My wife, who is a Russian, fell for this and emigrated to the US in 92 believing all the propaganda only to find conditions in the US to be very different and in many cases worse than in Russia. This is another category of Russians in America (most of who I have met or employed) who fall into this category of Russians lured to the west only to find that it was all based on false hope.
But, what to do is a real question. It seems to be that Russia is deliberately not pursuing a propaganda campaign even 1/10th as much. They clearly toe the line with the west and make every attempt to comply with ridiculous western demands about foreign agent registration and limiting information to be relatively non-offensive to westerners. What is weird is that RT is one of the most viewed channels in the west so they do have an audience. What is even weirder is that the RT in Russia (in Russian language) is very different (and often a lot better) than the RT we see in the west. I watch RT on Youtube and living in Europe (it was banned in Hungary and dropped from the UPC television provider (Netherlands) we get a choice of the standard feed coming from Moscow, the UK feed, and the US feed. Each is somewhat different so someone has a sense of target audiences. I read Sputnik as it is basically okay but for real analysis, I prefer to watch Alexander Mercouris or the Duran. Colonel Cassad (in Russian) is also very good as is SouthFront. Mercouris somehow pounds out 2 or 3 detailed shows every day and I have no clue where he finds the time to do this great analysis. He is as astute as Putin and knows a great deal about Foreign Policy. He only uses official releases to base his analysis but so far he has been dead on. Google Chrome at least does a decent job automatically translating the Russian language so you can easily read Russian language stuff without too much problem if you can’t read Russian.
I also think a good question is who the target audience in the west might be. There is no possibility that anyone in the UK will ever stop being Russiaphobic. That goes back centuries and is fully engrained into their mentality. The US is similar. So, why waste money? The EU in terms of the politicians in Brussels who are the only people that matter as the EU is in no way a Democracy and the people have zero say in EU policy. These same parliamentarians openly receive separate salaries from Soros and/or the US. I suppose Russia could try and bribe them more and things might change but I think that is also a waste of time and money. What Russia does attempt is to counter the threats by demonstrating the idiocy of the EU actions and decisions but the EU politicians are clearly suicidal and sometimes insane. Northstream 2 is just one example. The MH-17 investigation another, the list goes on and on. So, as far as I see it the west is hopeless to try and influence. So, this leaves on the Russian people themselves as the target audience. It is a very tough battle. However, the west is so insanely Russophobic the never-ending onslaught against Russia is backfiring against them. There are new sanctions every day and often for things completely debunked even in the west so there is a disconnect from reality which is so obvious even idiots in Russia see this as categorically unfair. The west reveals itself to be a hollow champion of rights now shifting to Rules-Based Order rather than Rule of Law. The west falls for this rhetoric but not Russians. Even my wife’s family who are minor oligarchs and have hated Putin since his arrival on the scene have turned to thinking he is good for Russia. These are people who frequently deal with the west and travel a great deal. They see and understand the realities of the anti-Russian propaganda effort.
I also notice a distinct change in Russian attitudes away from believing they are a central and key part of Europe and instead now are turning to the East. So at least for now, the old trope of Russians trying to prove they are more European than Europeans is dwindling. The world is changing and there is a lot going for Russia. They have the resources to influence the world in positive ways and counter US aggression when it becomes too much to bear or becomes a real national security threat such as Georgia, Syria or Crimea. The western efforts have mostly backfired and the sanctions have forced Russia to once again become self-sufficient. Anything they can’t produce themselves they can now get from China who so far is a reliable partner and they cannot survive without each other. We are in the middle of a new hybrid war very much on the scale of a world war. The end game is coming and whether it escalates to real hot war or not is a bigger question. Russia won’t start it but they will defend the Russian homeland at all costs. Considering the forces in the EU as any kind of actual threat is ridiculous. The same for the US military. They haven’t fought a peer force since Korea and we didn’t win that one and haven’t won anything since. The problem is the US might start believing their own propaganda.
The best course for Russia now is to keep things relatively quiet, counter the US aggression when it becomes intolerable, counter the foreign relation aggressions at a political level, continue efforts in the courts, and leave the US to collapse on its own which is happening before our eyes. It won’t be too long before Americans realize things are in shambles and recovery impossible without revolution. I see it happening already and “The Biden” is causing it to accelerate. What comes from the ashes of the US is anyone’s guess but I think we will see it soon. Keeping this from boiling over to WWIII is the real challenge and might explain the reticence of Russia to stoke the fires.
Great to see your comment and it resonates deeply with me. Glad to see you here and I appreciated your great contribution a couple of years ago to the Unz website.
When some McCarthyist that makes Joseph Raymond McCarthy and Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (who refused the advisor of his economic advisors to privatize the copper mine) look like a hard-line Stalinists such as the 23rd district of California self-promoting wack-job plays Gennady Ivanovich Yanayev, what is left of the Union of Congressional Corporatist Republics will be wrecked in four days or less quite easily.
Looks to me that Fox Hasbara, Fox Plunderbund, One Neoconservative Propaganda, ad nauseam are fomenting a revolution that can only finish off the corporations, for-profit, and non and the governments, federal, state, county/parish, municipal, and township of Americastan.
I also think a good question is who the target audience in the west might be. There is no possibility that anyone in the UK will ever stop being Russiaphobic. That goes back centuries and is fully engrained into their mentality. The US is similar. So, why waste money? The EU in terms of the politicians in Brussels who are the only people that matter as the EU is in no way a Democracy and the people have zero say in EU policy.
You are significantly mistaken on your opinion of what people in the UK/US/EU think of Russia, but more importantly you are missing the qualitative angle. Polls show about 2/3 of US citizens do not believe any of their MSM, and we can extrapolate that to include the anti-Russian lies. I know many hundreds of thousands of people in each of the larger EU nations watch RT and I suppose there is a similar but smaller audience for all
the other pro-peace, anti-Empire media.
The larger hole in your understanding, OMB, is that you seem to not have thought about which people are in the pro-Russian audience, and – a related question – what these people can or could do with their knowledge. Here’s how things really work: What matters – especially in the long run – are the street-level (circle of friends) opinion leaders and a small fraction of the actual elites. What matters is not so much nfluencing the next election cycle, but rather to shift people’s understanding so they can better “head off” or defeat the war-mongering “strategy of tension” which the Empire pushes. Let me expand on that idea briefly, because it gets overlooked too often. There are many issues in the world, and no one person has time to keep up with all the big ones, such as climate change, Covid, the economy, the political economy, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, China, etc. etc. It’s overwhelming and there are not enough hours in a week or a month to really stay on top of all of them. So what sensible people do is to find and validate some experts and then they follow these experts until they might be proven wrong. What does not matter are the opinions of insensibe people – most of the population in nations where there isn’t a clear, strong connection between international policies and what happens to them personally. So while the “Arab Street” is quite well informed, people in the US, Germany, etc. are not and will not learn much until the Empire falls.
So in the long run, this is all about qualitative changes and change takes lots of time.
There are two ways to change opinions. One is to get individuals to change their personal beliefs, and the other is for those (typically unintentional) “change agents” to influence their friends and colleagues.
A Scottish journalist from 1841: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (3 volumes, 1841.)
Last thing I’ll say here is that a small number of enlightened people can go a long ways. History has many such examples.
“…the russophopic expats (the more intelligent they are, say as mathematicians, the more mad they are”
What are the chances for an immigrant to start career in US academic climate as Russian patriot?
Believe it or not, I was actually waiting for this your rant! And not before time! I can totally, absolutely agree with every word you said – it is truly pathetic the way Russia responds to the AZ media onslaught. I had, on quite a few occasions, contacted RT to express my disgust at some crap they would publish, and you are right, they are, most likely, doing it to reach some target audience. Such as the “social media” crowd, no doubt. Retaliatory responces for mistreatment of Russian journalists are also pathetic. Throwing the western journos out of Russia, especially those that write garbage about Russia for their western publications, would be a good start. I also agree that translations of REALLY important stuff, like speeches by Russian President should be practically instantanious for western consumption/audience. Another issue- that of deliberate sabotage by imbedded in Russian Media so-called “Russian liberals”, (who would be mostly members of the tribe by the way) and still hankering for the West’s idea for Russia, is a serious problem, that government absolutely needs to address, and SOON! Thank you Andrei! This needed to be said. Let’s hope someone will hear it.
Just two observations: conserning RT, I only browse through
– RT UK news https://www.rt.com/uk/ : really horrible
– RT DE https://de.rt.com/ : much better
Also the German version of Sputnik https://snanews.de/ is better than main Sputnik https://sputniknews.com/ .
Perhaps this is due to the fact that the English speaking sites are much more “professional”, while the German speaking sites are more “amateurish”.
Then there is an Arabic RT too and it might be better than RT English.
But if so, then it is even MORE inexcusable to continue allow RT English to be such a fountain of vomit.
I actually much prefer PressTV, which informs without needing to resort to scatological contents, good for them!
And while I don’t follow the Chinese media, I am quite confident that they would not sink to the level of RT either, if only because of their Communist ideology which very much has a sense of right and wrong (even if it is not mine).
The Chinese media in English is quite though extremely dry and almost robotic in their tv shows. I also follow Korean media (in English) and their presentation is almost the same. The Chinese live presentation has gotten better and has spent more time countering AZ propaganda.
I would not fault RT for its coverage of “sexy stuff” and sports, because that attracts an audience which could become interested in the other stories. Also, for the regular RT audience, it’s bait to lure your locker-room pals into visiting a site they otherwise would not see. The details matter here. Does RT coverage degrade women ? I’ve seen a lot of it (believe me) and I think it is almost entirely benign. Sports coverage is a funny topic, because a large part of the sports audience does not care about sports, but yet they feel they have to “keep up”. It’s a sad fact of life in “the land of the free.” I know a dozen salesmen (the men, not the saleswomen) and they all tell me they pay attention to sports just so they can do small talk with their customers, but beyond that, not only do they not care, some salesmen actually look down their noses at the fools whose lives are so vacant that they really do care about professional sports. Sales people see “sports” as just another industry, something for fools with nothing better to do. As they say, it takes all kinds to make the world go around.
Yes, RT in English should be far better than it is. There are too many face-palm quality “news” items that get their facts wrong or miss what’s important. The qualitative differences between RT in the various nations is big. A friend, whose “hobby” is journalism, has a close-up view of RT in the US, and he says there is a noticeable difference between RT in New York and RT in Washington, DC. He thinks RT has difficulty attracting high-quality journalists in the US, partly because RT vastly prefers young attractive alpha-level people, and such people don’t tend to be savvy, of course. A couple years ago, RT had a 1 or 2 week workshop to get people started in journalism, but I never heard what became of it. It would be good to try it again.
I haven’t read Press TV in years for its news content, but the rest of Press TV is interesting. This government-owned news outlet is tight-lipped where it matters. I appreciate that Tehran might feel a need to not say too much. Iran has more interesting sites such as https://en.mehrnews.com/ By comparison, Hezbollah english.almanar.com.lb/ goes into valuable details. Little Lebanon is not as significant as Iran, but you can see the universe in that particular gain of sand, or to be more precise, you can see how the Empire operates. And of course, al-Manar journalism extends well beyond Lebanon.
Thank you Saker for this analysis.
I agree with your general assessment of Margarita Simonyan and Maria Zacharova. They are doing a really good job. Indeed they are up against powerful forces of misinformation and other dirty tactics by the western media and their propagandist.
Also, I agree that what RT does on it’s website by posting regularly and prominently incidents of violence, whether the UFC stuff (how is UFC legal anyways? It is so barbaric and primitive) or videos of fights in public places and images of scantily clad women in is immoral. and seems to have no other purpose other than to attract the lowest common denominator to click on the story.
As someone who works in mass communications and is of a mature age I can offer some thoughts that may help explain this behaviour of the western oriented Russian media.
back in the day, journalism (whether print or TV) had some very simple rules. Is the story news worthy or not? Then, if the story was newsworty, your task was to write an article or story using the 5 W rule (who, what, where, when, why and sometimes how). That’s it. No personal opinion, no conjecture or theories of any sort were considered good journalism. That was reserved for the Op-Ed pages.
Today, the media landscape has changed dramatically. Not only is personal opinion allowed, it is also encouraged. what the media bosses are looking for is stories that will make people click, tune-in and thus increase their viewership stats. In other words, data relevant to advertisers is more important than actually newsworthiness or truthfulness of stories. Then, there is another factor. believe it or not, the younger generation of media workers are all copy cats. They all copy and emulate what others are doing. There is no room for being different, brave, bold or even conservative. everything must be done how google and facebook and other social media giants do it. There is huge pressure to not think or work outside the established box of the social media way of doing things. Any story we post, any video we make MUST be made how entities who have a huge following do it. I argue with my young colleagues constantly and tell them that they are not brave enough, that they don’t have the guts to do things differently then the established way. And the established way is how RT does it. That’s how I would explain what RT website is doing. they are simply doing what everyone else is doing. perhaps they think that if their website looks more like Fox or MSNBC etc..then it will be more accepted by the western audience and they can then squeeze the “truth” in between the lines. That’s all I can think of.
Although, I don’t discount your idea of there being Atlanticists in the ranks of Russian media, I also wouldn’t give them that much credit. Many of the new generation today are all about copy, paste, get the check and brag on social media about their great life. I hope I’m not too harsh on them. I simply think that RT is still searching for the right formula but tying to be “cool” and “modern”.
And regarding the translations of texts into English from Russian media and speeches and statements, I agree, someone is being too lazy.
Another thing that I notice in media is how few people think to the future. There is very little planning and organisation believe it or not. There seem to be only short-term tasks being handed out with no way of seeing the big picture (if there is any). So, media workers are pretty much blindfolded workers given simple individual tasks with no idea how and if their work is connected to the larger goal. And God-forbid that you even bring this up in the team meetings. If you do, then you are “not a team player” “always obstructing” “not doing what you’re paid to do” etc.. It is very much top-down management in other words and there is no way of knowing whether the information and task you are given are actually what was meant to be assigned from the top.
Well, that is my experience and I hope it helps the conversation a bit.
Excellent; thank you. Please keep commenting.
I have asked my self the same questions a while, rt and sputnik is trash now. That is why i read RIA or TASS, yandex translate in the browser, ad the app is getting better all the time.
But most people are either to lazy to check foreign media and use auto translate or they simply dont care, they just want their kardashian fix.
Send this article to President Putin via his official site, translated to russian.
Send in questions to his “meet the people/ask the President” events, small things but i have no other ideas.
Regarding Sputnik and RT websites: i have found that they tend to follow the western “news” system which, for me, is virtually total propaganda, lies and deceit. I find myself incessantly having to “read between the lines” and search through many websites to confirm aspects of stories that are making the rounds. This includes not only political and military “news” on Sputnik and RT (west-leaning propaganda and anti Russian propaganda as well), but also in fields which are more technical, including what today is called “science”. Coverage is always gven in these fields with an extremely strong (and in my opinion, wrong) slant / bias towards Status Quo thinking from the delusional high priests of Dogma. These are things the West, actually also other nations as well) have been doing for generations in order to control the flow of the narrative in every human field of endeavor using an intellectual “cattle shute” methodology. This keeps us trapped in a zero-sum mind trap.
And, of course, there are the regular articles vying for the basest of human instincts including regular adulation pieces about certain sports figures and, of course, as you said, the UK-style booby-stories / nudity pieces. It seems both Sputnik and RT have become British tabloids. Is this because the population (and politicians, in a kind of self-inflicted head wound) of the West has been trained to be Reality Incapable?
Because of these chronic failures, i tend to disbelieve anything i read on these websites, unless and until i see the same information presented on more reliable websites, such as yours. I always need to connect the dots and see if they make sense. There are very few websites that i consider reliable, even in the loosest sense of the word.
As for Youtube: I am simply disgusted and i feel like i’m living in a nightmarish dystopian virtual reality where “news” is mainly manufactured out of thin ideology rather than reported. Some Youtube videos are good (mostly technical “how to” videos) but it is all so controlled from the political side that i have had the strongest urge on many occasions to throw all my communications technology (smartphone, computer, internet) away and go back to a pre-internet and pre-computing lifestyle, if that’s even possible anymore. However, this is not possible for me, since i am an engineer and i rely on these tools to do my work.
I’m sure there must be an alternative to this Borg-like global system. I’d really like to find or build a door and enter…
I read all three submissions written by Saker “as per instruction”. This one (2021) is mostly doom and gloom, although I can understand the frustration, whereas the posts written and published in 2016 and 2017 are uplifting and entertaining to boot. Granted, I don’t take issue with people revealing something which certainly amounts to a 100% correct observation regarding indifference on Russia’s part towards the importance of Russian counter-propaganda abroad. But, still, I have to say that I find it infinitely preferable watching the immense successes of Russia’s (and China’s) global power projection driving the West right into its own neoliberal gutter and its “leadership” and media absolutely insane with Russophobia rather than Russia/China suffering political defeat in spite of more sincere, professional counter-propaganda in the West. For all the ineptitude on Russia’s part in the information war, the West is getting beaten even if its 99% dearly prefer to remain faithful Ziomedia addicts.
I DO like your approach! Nothing but positive! Like you, (you being a very intelligent Swede) I am also, being a Russian, proud of Russia’s amazing achivements, especially in the last few years and hopefully this is only the beginning; but I feel compelled to express the very serious misgivings about obvious shortcomings that are negative and conterproductive for future advancement of that great country. Russia is indeed protected by God and is fast becoming the Noah’s Ark for this crazy world, getting crazier by the day! My great hope is that Russian Spirit will prevail once again!
With great respect to your intellect, and keep well, K. : )
Your posts are definitely resonating with my political sensibilities as well as they are appealing to my tastes for wit and sarcasm.
Living in Sweden, watching the ongoing neoliberal collapse in broad daylight and listening to the nonsense about it from our p••s-poor EU puppets in the government and the media, is entertaining in a sense. Sweden used to be a very peaceful country, but is turning fast into a dystopia of gun violence and hold-ups (foreigners who prefer the quixotic narrative about ’rapefest horrors’ are missing out on what’s happening for real here).
What this evokes in me is a mindful looking back at the 1990s when Russia found herself in this state of free-fall, hailed by Western ideologues as ’End of History’. Well, 30 years later it is the greed, corruption, rot, and all-out malevolent incompetence of these God-awful Euroshmoks (beautiful derogatory term!) and their Pindo kith and kin which can’t be denied. Russia might not be particularly dexterous when it comes to information warfare, but her resilience and political power projection are second to none! Russophobia 24/7 is the due result on the losing side
“(foreigners who prefer the quixotic narrative about ’rapefest horrors’ are missing out on what’s happening for real here).”
So what is really happening?
I spelled it out 100% explicitly: Gun violence and hold-ups. Reported on a daily basis here. Same as in Russia 30 years prior, including substance abuse.
Its all theater in a desperate attempt to stay not only alive, but relevant.
And once the battle is lost, so is the war.
Now, the Saker said repeatedly that Russia is under no obligation whatsoever to save the West from itself. Western propaganda in Russia was meant to provoke the revolution. Russia countered it effectively. But it does not seek to provoke the revolution in the West, nor that it strives to 'look good' in the eyes of the West.
My take on Russian media on the Internet: it is useful if you have three hours a day to glean the facts, a few good analyses, and a speech or presser from Putin, Lavrov or a General.
I never watch RT on any regular basis. During the war in Donbass it was the best. It is capable of doing good work, but 98% of it is crapola.
Sputnik (I hate their new web look) is a very useful instant news of the moment source. They are fast with news from anywhere.
Tass.ru is formal, useful.
Ria.ru sometimes is useful.
Lenta.ru often has some lengthy good material.
I check Interfax.ru for top headlines inside Russia.
I check VZ.ru. They are good at news, not always reliable with opinion pieces.
What Russia should do is look at the new Global Times from China. And build a cable/streaming network like CGTN.
Margarita S. is limited in her management of content because I think the Liberals still hold sway on that sector until Putin throws them all to hell. He head is correct but her hands are tied.
There is no excuse that a Putin or Lavrov speech or presser is not in English in one hour.
Chinese do live broadcasts with English translators.They have many web news portals in English.
I am hoping that the coordination of diplomatic messaging that Russia and China are doing now to double-team the West on international topics will lead to Russia learning how China pumps out some of their infowar material.
The first thing the Russians should do is eliminate anyone working on a news or content site or source of information who has a British background. They all are Liberals or sellouts and useless to deliver what Russia needs delivered.
Putin says the only ideology Russia needs is patriotism. That should be the litmus test for content.
Presentation and portals should all be leading edge production quality. (There is plenty of talent in Russia who can create top drawer media.)
Yandex should have substitutes for YouTube and Wikipedia.
Russia and China should do the Internet Replacement they talk about for years.
Even a Wayback Machine Archive substitute should be done. Google censors what is saved now, so the archive is incomplete.
One area of Western abuse that Russia should address is the falsification of history of the Great Patriotic War. A number of TV series should be designed to use all the archived film and material that is factual. A WWII History channel should be started and done in a style that any major language will be available in the format.
There is not enough Imagination applied for Solutions to what ails Russia.
This is not rocket science. This is basic Mass Communication.
We should write to Margarita a composite of all the good ideas and get her on the right path.
brilliant summation, larchmonter, i fully concur, esp. on the global times format & like you i loath the new sputnik format. i hope rt/sputnik/tass or the peskov or underlings peruse the saker & read your suggestions. they are all sorely needed. thank you, & thank you for your posts, always insightful & illuminating.
That, unfortunately, seems to be the problem.
Because with rocket science…. the Russians have no equal.
Offtopic comment: a friend of mine once pointed out to me that there is not such thing as “rocket science”, but only “rocket engineering” :-)
Your friend was an Engineer, no doubt.
Try to fly a rocket some day without science.
Since engineering is science-based, by definition, engineers use science, including physics and chemistry.
And scientists use math every day.
But that does not create “rocket science” as a meaningful concept.
Try launching a rocket without engineers :-P
In English “rocket science” has become a stable expression, an idiom. It exists in the dictionary, described as “ the scientific study of building and using rockets”. I believe it became synonymous with aerospace engineering. I don’t think dissecting its meaning pedantically is useful.
Please have in mind that science and engineering are subjective to a culture, company or country. If intiellectual work needs to be performed to discover and understand new concepts, then it is science. If you are mearly replicating previous achievements by means of existing technical solutions, then it is engineering.
Inovating new concepts of propulsion using rockets – rocket science
Design and development within the current technical capabilities of materials – rocket engneering (SPACE X)
Apply novel scientific concepts to exisitng platforms – rocket science and engineering (nasty business) <- key critical skill
Try to it w/o physics, it was impossible w/o the gyroscope.
After reading this I feel like posting this article on a possible explanation of UAP propulsion was in order.
Not that I can argue about that, but if this example is as good as any, I’ve seen op-eds by British columnists on RT that criticize the EU and assume a pro-Brexit stance, albeit for reasons that have more to do with Britain than with Russia.
‘We should write to Margarita … ‘ Good thought. It might actually help.
This was my immediate thought – write to Margarita Simonian. She is active on many platforms.
Secondly, write to the Kremlin press service. If no response – escalate.
RT, despite the flaws described by the Saker, is still an island of sanity in the vast sea of lies and wokeness. That’s why it is constantly being attacked in various countries.
I think we should act proactively instead of moaning about this here in the comments section. If all of us individually wrote to the Kremlin re translations, perhaps they would take notice.
Real power today doesn’t come from the military it comes from controlling what people believe. And when a handful of one man blogs stand alone against a multi billion dollar global propaganda machine then things don’t look great.
Not only are Russia/China failing to do anything to defend themselves they often makes thing worse.
SouthFront May 2021:- In early May, accounts of SouthFront Team registered on Russian state-funded donation platforms were blocked. This hostile act was undertaken by subsidiaries of Mail.ru Group. The major shareholder in Mail.ru Group is Russia’s state-owned bank Sberbank (Sberbank of Russia)
This is true of China also, until recently Chinese state TV simply repeated western propaganda stating that NATO was “protecting” the baltic states against Russian treats and allowing SCMP (HongKong) to repeat unchallenged claims that the Chinese government killed students in Tiananmen. To even attempt a reply on the SCMP hidden comments section you had to sign in via your google password, and we all know who google are. As I understand it SCMP is owned by Jack Ma so the implications just gets worse.
Mint press news Mar 2021:- A new Gallup poll finds that U.S. public opinion on China and Russia has crashed to all time lows. Only 20% of Americans hold favourable views towards China. This is a remarkable decline, considering that only three years ago, the majority of the country saw the Asian giant in a positive light. The public image of Russia is barely any better, with just 22% of the country viewing the world’s largest nation in favourable terms and 77% holding unfavourable views towards the country
What are we to make of these governments China/Russia when they make zero effort to defend there nations against this existential treat. Perhaps there only concerned about there selfish interest or maybe there Swiss bank accounts. Or perhaps there convinced the western propaganda is true.
Oliver stone interviewed Putin and asked him if he thought British spys were involved in the Skripal affair – Putin answered “No” – Just think about that !
Fidel Castro was asked by Oliver Stone about the Kennedy assassination, Castro stated he didn’t “Think” Oswald could fire 3 shots that quickly. Stone looked shocked, so was I.
Chelsie manning who I admire has now turned against Julian Assange. A protest was arranged when Assange was arrested and more photographers turned up then protesters (Of course media censored the whole thing) – you couldn’t invent this stuff.
I kind of give up and am tired of trying to reason with Russian/Ukrainian/Georgian people who tell me how evil Putin is or arguing with “educated” people who are certain Kennedy was shot with a bullet that traveled backwards. The future for the human race does not look good.
You have to look at who they employ – that is the problem
And Margarita Simonyan is to blame for this
Too many British people who just want a job but have no real Interest in Russia
They just copy the western agenda whatever the guardian or the bbc print they comment on. You get a sense of their liberal sympathies.
They are not setting the agenda to promote Russia and challenge western narratives
I don’t care for Zarkarova either – even calling Nuland “Victoria” just pathetic.
RT need to make up it’s mind what it is for.
And employ the best people to perform that task
Seems as if RT and Sputnik have lost their purpose
Even during the World Cup they could have done features about the stadiums and cities to counter all the negativity coming from the UK – remember about the threats of violence from ultras etc
RT and Sputnik should be closed down and the money diverted to develop the news social media platforms
Another thing RT and Sputnik failed to do is counter the anti Russian propaganda about gas prices.
Blame Russia for their poor planning
This was a perfect opportunity to write about the failure of European energy policy
They didn’t do it
As bad as Google and even Bing have become as far as search result suppression is concerned, I have almost always had poor luck with Yandex. A few times a few years ago I was able to find/refind stuff with Yandex Google was clearly suppressing. I wonder if Yandex (and Bing and Yahoo) crawls the web or gets its info from Google.
Perhaps Yandex is geared to Eastern languages or at least Russian.
I have been half tempted to try my luck with Astra Linux. That should be interesting, as in, for example, can an English speaker who does not know Russian install it? It seems to me that Russia and China should start from the drawing board as far as 1) network protocols; 2) hardware types, designs, and features; and 3) operating system and application designs, features, and implementation. What features does organizations and individuals need? How can the features be implemented securely in a way that is not a usability / administrative night terror or a bandage solution that introduces instability, severe performance hits, and as many potential vulnerabilities as you are trying to solve such as antimalware programs?
Had this been done decades ago there could have been a real more stable and secure alternative to Micro$oft, Apple, and Alphabet triopoly (even security from that triopoly and the hegemonic machine gun they own lock, stock, and barrel) and Bill Gate$ and their foundation would have far less wampum to use to try to adulterate our DNA for YHWH knows what purposes under a pretext.
Astra Linux is a Debian based Linux with a Windows XP like shell and offers Russian and English language options.
My experience with Windows and Linux Distributions — better just to take an eraser to the chalkboard and start over.
Try Linux Mint, Cinammon edition.
(Mint is Ubunutu based which itself is Debian based)
Yes! Mint is the best!
If you care about Linux,use Centos8 or Linux Mint and be paranoic in securing them. Both of them very stable and safely upgraded. (Debian has issues with newest hardware (Ryzen?).
Russia has few good Linux distros: Rosa Linux, Alt Linux, Astra Linux. The first two have English versions.
Rosa is bringing up soon version 2021.1 which looks good in Plasma.
For Russan Linux go to yandex.mirror
Cheers from France
It isn’t all that necessary to go to great lengths. I run 1 main computer as a media server using Ubuntu and 5 Raspberry PI’s (plus 3 more other SBC;s) all running Ubuntu as well without issue. We have 3 iMAC’s and I have a serious gaming PC running Windows 10 for video processing plus a smattering of cell phones and at least 5 tablets around the place. We have 7 wifi routers and all running through IPFire on a small Intel chip PC. Three of the PI’s run Pihole or AdGUard Home with one PiHole outside the network and another inside. Between PiHole and AdGuard you can block traffic easily and identify what is doing what where and block it. I have a wonderful but very badly behaved Wifi router from Xiaomi that I use for my Oculus Quest 2 to PC connection (it is Wifi 6). This router runs as an access point only (as do all the other 6 routers) but tries to phone home to China around 50,000 times a day. I have it blocked from doing that and any other devices that misbehaves I can block the specific port or IP address. Everything on the network is encrypted and scanned for malware before it even gets into the house. I take security very seriously and it isn’t all that hard to do.
—–Assessing the Russian counter propaganda efforts: —–
So what is going on and who is to blame (and fire!) here? — “Atlantic Integrationists?”
If my guess is correct, then this is not a counter-propaganda issue, but a national security one!
In my opinion, the real clarifications as to why Russian Counter P Efforts are not as good as say the Kindjal or Electronic warfare (Hardcore national security domains which have no analog) are found in the fact the detractors of Russia has had decades of to perfect a image based global art form known as the Cinema. Perhaps no one in Russia or elsewhere has paid due attention to how much Cinema enjoys the quality of being, besides a great art, an indirect, effective, informative and highly influential propaganda-of-sorts on both domestic and international fronts. To cut to the chase, the Russian Government Ministry of culture has to ask its prominent film artists two things: First, why a country like Russia is not able to be in the top three countries in cinema internationally (as measured by some equation combining Box office income, film awards, accolades and audience reach) and two, How are Russian artists, with the support of Govt, able to remove the obstacles and achieve this goal? Once this permanent agenda of improvement in Russian Cinema quality is set, and the new films sufficiently improve, a Russian “message” – based on a civilian and genuine art, will begin to wind its way around the world. And, better yet, domestically.
Along the same lines, I was astounded on one of our 10 trips to Russia, I think about 6 years ago, to see that there were posters up adverttising an American movie called “Saving Private Ryan”, which I understand relates to the D-Day landing near the end of World War II. I wondered why people in Russia were being exposed to (and some going to see) a film about the American side of the War, when it was specifically the Russian side that did the actual sacrifice and achieved victory in an existential struggle (throughout all 4 years of the War). Where is the Russian equivalent showing the true history? Who is working on the “War and Peace” classic of our times?
One word reply: money.
(sad, but true)
I think it is also rooted more in a static belief in the Russian Ministry of Culture and by most Russian film artists that Russian Cinema does not require urgent attention to fully reach its potential benefit for Russian citizens domestically and overseas. The Cinema is, as they say, Political and the MoC and Film professional need to look seriously into this issue.
That’s right, totally agree. I usually read the Tass agency, but all because I know how to find the information I want to obtain, but ordinary people get more Rt and Sputnik that leave much to be desired in Spanish, especially Rt, it seems that some articles are written by George Soros, I understand that they hire journalists from the left and the Latin American left is pro Soros, unfortunate! Despite all that and the black propaganda of the Zionist liberals (Infobae – La nacion – Clarin – Ambito Financiero – open TV channels) example of demonization of the sputnik vaccine, and all the lies of Navalny, Skripal, etc.
Junk information against Putin and Russia, the effect is always the opposite. Putin in Argentina has a better image than Alberto Fernandez, who proved to be part of the problem with the mismanagement of the economy, the 2030 green agenda, the approval of abortion and the rapprochement with Soros’s outcast.
Which does not mean that Macri is less worse, for us the middle class are the same thing. Two sides of the same coin. At the intelligence level there is a rapprochement between the armed forces and the Russian Federation, there is a lot of geopolitical interest towards Russia against the United Kingdom, which has armed Falkland Islands with weapons. The chief of the air force is very interested in acquiring the MIG 35 over the JF17. The only setback would be financing, but there is a slow change of course in the minds of the sovereign military, there is another faction that is very pro-Anglo and that is the one that is slowly disappearing, thank God !, fruit of the schools of the Americas, It is a generation that was deceived by Washington and that does not understand that today Russia is a lighthouse unlike the United States, which is darkness.
Agree with the Saker. Russia has a huge advantage, it just needs to tell the truth, used to watch 60 minutes on Youtube, but Russia needs its own channel, or put info on Rumble and bitchute.
We’ve had more wailings about Russian news outlets on the Saker blog before. In the beginning of the year, here is Chris Faure just lamenting about the state of the news, not even the counter propaganda efforts.
Let’s package this all up and send to the necessary organizations. Game the Saker? Shall we do it?
‘Shall we do it?’ I think so. Maybe a separate post calling for concerns and constructive criticisms that could be collated as a collective missive – or just point form – not to burden Andrei with collected viewpoints he might not want to be responsible for, or be regarded as the source of. Larchmonter (above post) suggests a communique to Margarita S. Jiri (below) said M. Simonyan, M. Zhakarova, and D. Peskov. I think multiple addresses might well be better to get a discussion going in Moscow where it needs to happen. They probably just don’t know. But should. This Saker website is an important site these days. Lots of readers and lots of important readers actually. The addressees in Moscow should pay attention to friendly criticism coming from the front lines of ideological warfare. RT and Sputnik were founded for definite reasons. The general consensus here – if I’m not altogether mistaken – is that they’ve lost their way. They should hear about this. Thanks, as always, for your efforts.
Couldn’t agree more… Suggest a cheap and easy solution – I RSS subscribe to not only your site but RT and Sputnik. If only there were some way to put a filter on these feeds to eliminate all the sports and sex stuff (Full disclosure – the ladies are a big distraction for me.) Maybe a intermediate feed producer that scrubs the BS that we could then subscribe to??
Perhaps Saker it’s a combination of things you have already explained about Russia.
Main focus is east not west, meaning little incentive to invest in explaining things to an honestly mostly impotent western populace.
Non-ideological foreign policy, so not pushing a Russian world versus western decadence narrative anywhere outside own borders.
Just like you pointed out why Russia didn’t annex all of eastern Ukraine, because Donbass and other areas needed to stand up for themselves first, it’s important for the future that the people of western nations create their own information networks that bypass corporate media no matter how difficult that is. As you have said before Russia has no obligation to save anyone from their own stupidity.
And of course Russian oligarchs, like any others, like to make a profit and it’s obvious that the audience of this and all likeminded blogs in the US put together are a fraction of what a sleazy tabloid gets. Hence RT mimicking sleazy tabloids in order to get clicks.
Main focus is east not west, meaning little incentive to invest in explaining things to an honestly mostly impotent western populace.
There are many non-aligned countries in the East where English is an official language:
*India (1.3 billion people)
*Pakistan (200+ million)
*Bangladesh (162 million)
*Philippines (97 million)
*Sri Lanka (22 million)
English is also a widely used 2nd language in Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, & Egypt. It is also an official language of Hong Kong.
Amongst US allies that still maintain good or neutral relations with Russia, English is an official language in:
*United Arab Emirates
These are examples of where RT, Sputnik et al should target their English-language media.
Oh you may very well be right that they should, but the question was why don’t they, and I think it’s clear from Russia’s actions that they have zero interest in becoming a cultural or ideological pole to the multipolar world.
They seem very content to be a military and economic one, and for that purpose Tass is quite sufficient.
Russia and particularly Vladimir Putin, are seen as champions of freedom, or traditional values, or Christianity, or national sovereignty and opposition to globalism, all over the world right now.
Everyone feeling oppressed sees Putin or Russia as their champion, but Russia seems uninterested in playing that role.
Maybe it’s a backlash from several decades of messianic politics.
Maybe it’s a missed opportunity or maybe it’s smart, time will tell.
I speak Russian but don’t know anything of the media landscape or which of the domestic talk/debate shows to focus on. Could you recommend one daily program, and 1-2 weekly programs that I should watch?
Have you ever considered posting especially important clips or articles to a new segment of the site exclusively dealing with Russian-language materials? Obviously the audience for this would be small, but maybe not as small as you think. There seem to be a fair amount of people who speak Russian that follow the blog, but perhaps aren’t as attuned to the news, miss an important episode/clip, etc.
Also noticed in your discussion of RT that Crosstalk was left out. I watch every episode on Youtube (which you have to dig hard for because “freedom censors”), Peter Lavelle definitely repeats himself a lot and the show kind of plays into the Jerry Springer format on some episodes, but I recommend him to any US audience interested in international affairs.
It is true though that RT (and the “Internet Research Agency”-type organs) unfortunately just follow the rules for algorithms and clicks. It’s funny to see excellent articles by Paul Robinson underneath some vapid smutty “article.”
depending on your own preferences:
Главное с Ольгой Беловой
then any evening news
none of them are perfect, but compared to RT & Co. they are all superb
Thank you. I had seen a clip of Zakharova on 60 минут before, maybe around the time of the “Novichok” hoax, but didn’t pay attention to the name of the show. That is an excellent program. Watching this past week’s episode of Большая Игра now. It’s remarkable how well the Russian political class understand the intricacies of American politics, especially as compared to how little we know about Russia’s. I experienced this when studying in Moscow years ago – until then I never expected a Russian person to know and discuss the rise of neoconservatism, the controversies and hot issues during major presidential campaigns, or the names of several chiefs of staff & secretaries of state. Meanwhile US “intel” reports refer to Iuliia Timoschenko as a former President of Ukraine, and Obama refers to Putin as the “former head of the KGB.” If you can’t get the basic facts right…
Also, watching any of these shows is a tour-de-force of Russian tech as you mentioned. The graphics, the clarity of the feed, etc. These shows look like how they show Tony Stark’s HQ in Marvel movies – fantasy for Americans, reality for Russians. You also see people standing and walking rather than sitting like lumps (yes the nightly news people sit, but name one US talk show where people stand the entire time? Says a lot about “public health.”)
Which brings me to the next point. I wonder what goes through someone like Nuland the Baker’s head when she’s walking through the streets of Moscow. The beginning of this episode had her walking through one of the countless wide (& clean) boulevards, with Moscow City in the background, ancient church in the foreground, etc. Does this person see this incredibly advanced city and still think that the shithole swampland (literally & figuratively) of DC is better? That she comes from a more advanced civilization? That she represents anything that could “save” anybody?
I hope you feel better after getting all that off your chest! I do listen to Sputnik and a few programs there are worth a listen – Backstory, for example, with Lee Stranahan and John Kiriakou – Lee is great on Magnitski and John (who went to jail for exposing the CIA torture program) is a gifted storyteller. But then there are some appalling ‘woke’ regulars who extol BLM and the abolition of police and jails. Also, the promos between shows are dreadful and have been recycled literally tens of thousands of times – a major and literal turn off.
When you mention “AngloZionist” (which, as you say, you can’t) it reminds us who is in control, even here despite everything, and so, doubtless, your cause for complaint.
I find it is very important to get a feeling of what is really going on in Russia on the anti-propaganda front. Thanks for that. You’ve mentionned in the past the “5th” column activity, so I guess that is what is happening.
I think your post here will likely help matters, but when you think deep into it, does Russia really need to spend much energy to compete with western media in the western area? I think we just need facts and analyses like you give. For my part, I don’t even read western media. It’s a waste of time.
Incendently, I congratulate you for what you give us on your site.
I remember noting, three years ago or thereabouts, that RT was almost schizophrenic. It seemed like two channels: during Russia’s day, it was pro-Russia, quite appropriately, but in night time (during the US day), it almost seemed to be another US channel.
My reward for noting this was to have my comment deleted.
Re. Smotrim. You have a problem signing in and I often get the “Program cannot be streamed in your region” message. Especially it concerns the love broadcasting channels like Zvezda but not just. Interestingly enough if you go to the channels website you can stream the live broadcast without a problem. As for the lack of English language versions, can you imagine what mammoth work it would have to be to translate this huge amount if content?
HI Andrei the Saker
this quote of your’s
” . . .So how about NOT asking for such sign-in codes ? . . .”
I am in agreement with – VK also always stops me because I don’t use a mobile device. So I can’t use VK – its so sad.
Also I wonder if Gazprom is Israeli owned ? er — I mean Anglo Zionist ?
This comment of mine would also explain this quote of your’s
” . . . Both the Kremlin (Presidential Administration) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia are doing an ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE work in their public information efforts. The worst is the very slow pace at which they translate Putin’s or Lavrov’s speeches, interview or articles. Apparently, the folks running these departments don’t understand that time is of the essence in counter-propaganda efforts! Either that, or they don’t have the money to hire enough translators which, considering the disposable income of the Kremlin is ridiculous. . . ”
The problem of Israel and Russia is a deep complicated one. I might be wrong – please no one abuse me but correct me on what I’m about to say – its what I’ve been told
1/3 of Israel ispopuated by people having a Russian passport as well as Israel. The whole of the first wave of ‘Jews’ that came to Israel came from Russia because Stalin allowed anyone wanting to be a Jew and go to Israel – to go..the borders were not open to get out of Russia any other way.
Those people have mostly passed on now – but their children are living in Israel and have Russian passports – because Russia does that for its ex-pats. The children of the ex-pats are still Russian.
So Israel has a hold on the presidentilal elections – they can vote for the president of Russia from Israel.
So Putin does not fluff the feathers of Israel. Since the experiment that went on in Israel with the vaccines, I wondered if Putin would be more annoyed with Israel, as the people being experimented on – with Pfizer and Moderna and J&J and Astrazeneca were the descendents of the first Israelis.
” , , Me? I would throw most western journos out Russia with no hesitation whatsoever. None.. . ”
I agree with you here Saker….Does China do better at this ?
and lastly – this line
” . . .Those of us in Zone A will continue our struggle against the Empire even in these conditions because we actually believe in what we are doing (those who only pretend and do it for $$$ are now really easy to spot, so I won’t list them here). We will continue to do that no matter how crude, inept, slow and otherwise painfully disappointing our (paid) “counterparts” in Moscow are.
But I, for sure, don’t want to “cover” for them anymore, or pretend like “all is good on the eastern front”. I said what I had to say about them and about my professional opinion of them.
And maybe somebody somewhere in Russia will read this and, finally, act on this?!
Or somebody in Russia can use this rant to make at least some changes?
I am not holding my breath. . . .”
I think if everyone reading this article would copy the link and send it to the President’s office in the Kremlin – he would read it
I heard about crazy stuff that gets lots of ‘sends’ into the President’s Office in the Kremlin – those folks show it to Putin…I know for certain because of a crazy story from years ago
An American shirtless alcoholic type kept sending Putin fan mail and finally it was shown to Putin and Putin responded..I can’t remember what he did, but the reason the guy liked him so much was his shirtless photo-ops for re-election many moons ago…anyone remember those funny photos ?
Putin reads mail from normal people. I love Putin
Thanks Andrei – love your site the best of all the ones you listed.
You can use VK without a mobile device, sign in at https://vk.com/desktop_app
I guess its just me. I can’t figure it all out.
too old I guess
Do you have any sources for the claim that Israelis ca n vote in Russian elections from Israel? I find it hard to believe because it’d be a direct interference of a foreign country in Russia. Besides, The Russian Federation exists only from 1991. Even if Russian Jews were allowed to emigrate to Israel, they should’ve had Soviet passports and not Russian ones
good point. No I don’t remember if it was told or if I just assumed that Russian ex-pats can vote. And I assumed that people born of Russian parents were also looked on as Russian
I do know that about 1/3 of the population of Israel is Russian descent. I met a Ukrainian who was living (born?) in Israel but now living in BC. He told me that.
My disillusionment with RT extends back to 2016 when I was reading an article that stated Russia had “annexed” Crimea.
Wot? I checked. Yep. I’m reading RT.
They’d cut and paste an oilprice.com article.
And been too lazy to read | edit it.
I mused then what the RT budget was, and figured it was money wasted if
a/ they were buying and republishing articles… especially from the likes of oilprice(wehaterussia).com
b/ not even reviewing the articles they published
The problem you identify seems to be ubiquitous throughout the world. Few countries dares to challenge western propaganda on an ideological front. The same can be said of Iranian and even Chinese state media, albeit to a lesser extent than for Russia. Throughout most of the world, people grow up aspiring to live as and hold the same attitudes as they imagine Americans do.
I’ve often observed that SyriaGirl (twitter handle: https://twitter.com/Partisangirl) does more to counter western propaganda than Iranian, Syrian, and North Korean media combined. Why is this work left to intelligent but atomised dissident voices in the twitter sphere?
Excellent article. Completely captures my own impressions of RT and Sputnik, while providing background and context.
Saker you have had an influence.
You were the first to articulate that the US is “not agreement capable”.
Since then I’ve seen the concept seep through into comments and commentary at other blogs.
Now the concept is embedded, many Have noted just how often the US reneges on agreements, treaties, obligations.
Why now, Medvedev has even appropriated it –
Here’s the concept used in his recent piece on Ukraine
I did not invent or create the word “nedogovorosposobnyi” I just was the first one, I think, to explain it to an English language audience. But the word was used in Russian long before me :-)
That’s a great concept. I wish I could pronounce it!
I think you are being a bit unkind to RT and Sputnik. They have tried and not succeeded very well. The Anglo media is broadly divided into the “MSM” and the “Alternative” with very little mingling at the interface. My guess is that RT and Sputnik try to be MSM with bits of Alternative thrown in so that they can get some legitimacy. Hence their lack of success. They could try the pressTV method but then it would not have mass appeal.
They are trying to play by the US rules and beat them at it. I don’t see them succeeding at it. Your idea of making Russian language info more accessible is more likely to give better results. But then they see themselves as a TV station.
You comments on getting good quality and prompt translations are very valid. My own experience is that by the time translations are available my attention has moved on. Machine translations are reasonably good nowadays so I don’t see why interviews and TV programmes are not made available with machine translated subtitles so that one can get a reasonable gist of what is being said. With visual mediums even a machine translation combined with body language and tone of voice can make things a lot understandable. I would imagine this is not a very technically challenging task. For the more important or popular programmes the machine translation could be refined.
1. Rewrite this rant in Russian as an analysis and plan of action piece. Send them out to your Russian clique as a chain mail so that by the third cycle it will have reached at least 100,000 people.
2.Consult with other like minded vloggers to see if more ideas can be had.
3. Try and contact Russian officialdom at the Simonyan, Zakharova, Peskov level (at least) to see if you can address the situation with direct contact with them. They might even agree to an interview that you could share with us!! I imagine this would not be too difficult.
Well, at least it explains why western efforts in the PR are failing miserably – the russians show them in their entirety and then make a laughing stock out of them.
As for the conclusion that “the Kremlin cares a lot more about the western “officialdom” (western press corps in Moscow) than it cares about REALLY reaching out to the people in the West.” – I think that the russian officials are more interested in preventing a “color spring” scenario at home rather than winning minds and souls abroad.
I doubt that the russian officials care much what the western populace thinks about them. They don’t even care much what the western “officialdom” thinks or says. Indeed, russian diplomats respond to accusations and insults laid by the said “officialdom” because this is how the diplomacy game is played, but the russians in general don’t really care about it. For them, it’s strictly business – if the west wants to do business with Russia – fine; if they don’t want to do business – that’s ok too.
How do you talk to the godless secular West?
The question is: Does Russia want to talk to the West?
Does Russia care about being understood in the West?
Does Russia care if there are people in the West seeking truth and wish to hear the other side of the story?
We know that Russians in Russia are informed on all pertaining issues to Russia and how the psychopathic politicians & media matrix of the West sees Russia.
The Chinese feel it is important to inform the West (CGTN is made purely for Western audience).
Orthodox Christianity requires the right believe and practice to be part of their community. Conversion is not and outside enforced process , but a inner voluntary personal one.
Russia might have the same view: I care about Russia and little about the West and their madness.
Why then RT and Sputnik. Why bother?
Pretend that I do care of the West audience and talk to them in their accustomed idiosyncratic framework?
Let us be frank: The West is going down and fast and while there are many dissenters, this dissenters have no power to change the West.
Cheers from an Argentinian in France.
@How do you talk to the godless secular West?
…and the jury will be instructed to ignore your statements and you will held in contempt of court — unless things go really bad for the Ziocons and you get your day at the Hague as a plaintiff.
Thanks fer the tip Will, and who said there was going to be a jury?
With jury selection and whatnot in Americastan, it does not matter, except for appearances sake to fool the gullible, so as far as The Powers That Should Not Be are concerned, might as well have one. They will probably grant you that (or the defendants you are accusing if you are a plaintiff), since it makes no difference.
Maybe if you are the plaintiff they will want a judge who with rule “not guilty” without jury interference.
Ministry of Russian Perspective needed
In France, RT is rather small and boring. No more than 3 items a day… And only one item new by day. Not great.
But never sexy photos there.
Sputnik is more interesting but alas, it often have, like we say in France “de gros sabots” that mean “Big hooves”, mean a little ridiculous and not very smart.
Perharps they underplay in making peace with french gouvernement.
Everyone commenting here is, generally speaking, intelligent, open minded and interested in keeping up with current events. This is, however, not an accurate description of the wider human race. If you want to persuade the latter that you are a good and fascinating country, you need a Hollywood, lots and lots of book publishers willing to publish in translation, a very active tourism sector to make it cheap and easy for foreigners to come and enjoy themselves in your country, and a language that doesn’t use a crazy alphabet. You might also invest in trains that aren’t really slow and make it more widely known that your country’s weather is beautiful in summer and has exceptional skiing in winter. You might tell the rest of the world about the wine and cuisine from the Caucasus, the breathtakingly beautiful architecture of Vladimir and Suzdal in the Golden Ring and the amazingly efficient and beautiful Metro in Moscow. Etc, etc. Does Russia do any of this? Is it interested in doing any of this? So, I think the problem is much deeper and broader than the author describes.
What’s so crazy about Cyrillic? If you ask me, Latin/Roman is the crazy one where a single consonant can radically differ in pronunciation between languages.
Packed with serious practical proposals for improvement. Too serious for this mere “consumer” of news to comment; except to confirm that, like the Saker, this consumer stopped viewing RT and Sputnik after they dumbed themselves down in a boring imitation of Anglo-Zio Corporate News. Likewise this consumer would appreciate a personal media hosting service for the general public: a Youtube without Youtube’s censorship of items that run counter to the AZC propaganda line.
Translated Putin speeches critical of the west will never reach western MSM (they won’t allow that) or the general western public on youtube because of malignant algorithm excluding pro-Russia information, except for the few interested individuals from to west who are already pro-Russia biased and actively seek out Russian news.
As an example: Putin’s important speech at the Russian Energy Forum never became a topic in dutch news where they are telling their dutch audience that Russia is refusing to sell gas to us hence the shortages. On the other hand Putin’s speech did reach Al Jazeera.
The same critique of weak Serbian counter propaganda was made, but to be honest, the Serbian counter propaganda was never allowed airtime in the West anyway, but they did give lots of airtime to the Bosnian Muslim side and the Croatian side
Sehr geehrter Saker,
es ist hinreichend bekannt, dass sich Russland weder frühzeitig darum bemüht hat, Napoleon von der Machtergreifung in Paris abzuhalten noch Adolf Hitler daran zu hindern, als Reichskanzler Deutschlands die Wiederaufrüstung voranzutreiben. Die Russen haben eine lange Tradition darin, sich erst dann um ihre Angelegenheiten zu kümmern, wenn es sie akut betrifft – aber dann auch sehr erfolgreich und konsequent. Insofern muss selbst das 2015er Engagement in Syrien als große außenpolitische Ausnahme betrachtet werden.
Machen Sie also nicht den Fehler, die russischen Aktivitäten durch die Brille der traditionellen imperialen
(britischen und amerikanischen) Sicherheitsdoktrinen zu betrachten, die von jeher den Anspruch erhoben haben, gefährliche Tendenzen weltweit bereits im Keim zu ersticken!
Mit den besten Wünschen aus Ostdeutschland!
It is well known that Russia made no early efforts either to prevent Napoleon from seizing power in Paris or to prevent Adolf Hitler from promoting rearmament as Chancellor of Germany. The Russians have a long tradition of only taking care of their affairs when it affects them acutely – but then also very successfully and consistently. In this respect, even the 2015 engagement in Syria must be viewed as a major foreign policy exception.
So don’t make the mistake of viewing Russian activities through the glasses of traditional imperial ones
To consider (British and American) security doctrines, which have always claimed to nip dangerous tendencies in the bud around the world!
With best wishes from East Germany!
Look at the comments on rt article or video with John Bolton. Lot of negative comments and questions such as why do rt bother to give this man time and space etc etc etc
Long time reader and its my first comment.
I realised some time ago exactly what is mentioned above, about Sputnik and RT.
I used to go each day to read the news there, besides the western TVs and Newspapers (im Portuguese) and noticed that the quality of both RT and Sputnik as been slipping over time, to the point were i get “tabloid vibes” from both and that made me sad.
To give a example, i used to spend around 30 mins on each of them, daily, reading the news.
Nowadays, its usually 5 to 10 mins max.
I thought about it and wondered exactly the same what The Saker did “who is the audience they are going for?”
There are several people i know that commented with me over Sputnik and RT and one remark stayed in my ear:
– I would like to know more about the reality in Russia but each time i go check Sputnik and RT, its only about war, sports and models and most of it about the west, not Russia itself”
Mind you that these people arent usual readers of those outleats but at the same time they fully realised they are being fooled by the western jounos but cant find good alternatives, to atleast complement what they read here.
Three things that i fully agree and i believe to be of absolute central importance:
. Improve the quality of the RT and Suptnik contents;
. Create a quality alternative to Youtube;
. Implement a Russian internet, independent from the US infrastructure.
Last but not least, since forever, from the day i took knowledge of the existence of both news outleats, i get this feeling that there is only one tabu in their editors limits, that is Israel.
Both RT and Sputnik can go after any country or private entity in the world, if they do some horrible thing.
All except Israel.
No matter what happens, they are always very carefull to not be very harsh towards that country.
I for one really miss the subtitles on the Russia talk shows on Youtube. Saker makes an excellent point.
All that stuff should be subtitled ASAP, and not just excerpts but the whole show. There are so many really smart people on them and the idiots from Ukraine or the US make fools of themselves for all to see.
I agree. English translations are essential. There are people in the west that are open to Russia and want to know things. More movies – there are some but not enough- should be provided with E. subtitles
“I for one really miss the subtitles on the Russia talk shows on Youtube”
This is true. I can read, write and translate Russian, but I cannot follow the spoken word, it’s too fast for me.
Without subtitles I’m lost.
My view on RT, coming from the UK and not the USA, is that it has in the past 18 months become hugely more focussed on Americans.
The number of American presenters has increased hugely.
The stories about America are increasingly dominating the website.
It has also become blatantly more anti the UK, and coming close to outright lying about the importance of the UK post 1945. This is presumably because the site is too pragmatic/cowardly to tell the world the truth about how many millions have been murdered by wars ordained not by London, but by the shadowy oligarchs that control Capitol Hill.
It still has a certain worthiness for picking up stories the West refuses to publish, but my suspicions toward it are increasing considerably as the evidence before my eyes stacks up…..
This article discusses the ‘Male State’ which had “directed a series of campaigns against businesses over their stances on women [and] ethnic minorities”.
Some time (at least a month?) ago I shared an RT article about the adverts featuring a black man being taken down due to pressure from ‘Male State’ and noted that some of the readers of the article were supporting the removal.
I could be wrong, but it appears to me that those readers came to RT expecting Russia to be a safe haven for white Westerners who lament what they perceive to be ‘anti-white’ policies in their home countries. If you will, a polar opposite to the West. All I know is, Russia, even in its Soviet days, never had any ‘Jim Crow’ laws like the US did, nor did they prohibit any interracial fraternization, let alone dating.
I think you are wrong, I think they should not care about the West one iota. The West is all but dead. They need to concentrate on Russia.
I also like Putin, but the reality inside Russia is getting hard to ignore. People who live there, even in Moscow, still tell me about corruption running rampant, having to pay off people to get certain certificates, papers or even jobs is not a good look, especially over 20 years later. The money is there, but it is concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with the rest of the country barely seeing any development. Wages are crap, for the most part, I know someone who studied law and prefers to drive a truck because it pays more than being a lawyer.
There are a ridiculous amount of glaring issues either not being addressed or barely getting any attention at all from the government. Not to mention that the economy operates based on Western neoliberal nonsense.
I am currently looking for a different country to move to, because with this Covid fascism running rampant, Germany has become virtually unbearable with no signs of slowing down. I am taking a hard look at Russia as a candidate, because despite the Russian governments obedience to this western Covid idiocy, life goes on inside Russia without much change from before, people do not care about Covid in Russia, for the most part, which is why the vaccination rate is so low, they see no point in jabbing themselves, and neither do I.
However, I am hesitant because of the neoliberal nonsense still being applied there and while a lot better than it was in the 90’s, the reality is, it should already be much, much further along than it is currently. What’s the reason for that? No idea, but the reality is, Russia, outside of 2-3 big cities, still is a very underdeveloped mess.
I grew up in Czechoslovakia, I studied Russian at school for more than ten years and now I follow Russian TV more than 1000 channels via TV set, PC or tablet for one dollar a month with the help of iedem.tv site.
If agreed the empire necrotizes and the USD shall be overcome for third parties’ use
why not consider drop the empire’s language altogether? In its role of the most important imperial language, it is just one language among others. There is quite a lot of languages. People can learn languages or try to use automatic translation tools …
why running behind the Western idea of marketing? Does Russia need marketing? Do they want to attract people? Being petted by the West as the good guys? Imho, it doesn’t look that way. The East block used to try to satisty existing needs, whilst the West was creating new needs with lots of marketing. Who is in need of understanding Russian politics – learn Russian …
Thanks so much Saker.
We are as frustrated as you.
But I do think there is method in seeming madness/mutedness of Russian officialdom approach.
𝙍𝙪𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙚𝙩𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙈𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙖𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙖𝙣 𝙬𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙣 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙥𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙖 (𝙨𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙧𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤):
– [was it you or another Russian source many years ago who mentioned interesting discovery by 1970s Soviet delegation visiting USA that the American population was more tightly controlled and in conformity, not via diktat but mere suggestion and programming of TV/MSM propaganda. I.e.. after decades of influence of Bernays and Goebbels, PR had become perfected in west]
– So Russians have known since at least 1970s that they cannot compete with western forte of propaganda, and cannot effect real change in a completely mesmerized western population. The Chinese have similar understanding too, per one of our commentators recently.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙨:
– The target viewers appears to be not so much Western population, but Western Intelligentsia and non-Westerners. Remember English is lingua franca now, especially in global communications.
This HAS succeeded, from my own experience: many in Africa/MENA now use predominantly RT, even in current debased form; Al Jazeera is less used/respected since became exposed in 2011 after clearly siding with MI6 and Muslim Brotherhood in “Arab Spring.”
Imagine how many were gained for Zone B or at least removed from Zone A’s induced hopelessness/hypnosis?
– Most humans want reliable, fact-based news, even if boring; most can see and do not want the hysterical craziness of Zone A media which deviates further from reality each month.
– I see it as GOOD thing Russian media and websites are boring, after the emotional, flashy, hyperactive unproductivity of western media, which is turn off to many mature and spiritual people. I see many of my elders and peers with similar attitude. Entering Russia media is like entering an aosis vis-a-vis increasingly deranged Anglo-sphere media.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 “𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙣𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣” 𝙤𝙛 𝙍𝙏 (𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙎𝙥𝙪𝙩𝙣𝙞𝙠):
– some years ago, I also saw this devolution of RT/Sputnik from a clean, professional, highly revealing coverage to current US/UK tabloid fare.
– Like you, I abhor it.
– However, in war (and love) all’s fair. We cannot afford prudishness when under the shadow of Armageddon facing off against demonic legions. And we are in a complete global hybrid war state. So we need to keep our powder dry and doff our hats to the ultimate survivors (the Russians).
– By the way, I observed this new sleaziness doesn’t seem to turn off many conservative older discerning folks: they know it is sad state of the (“monkey-town”) times and ignore it, focusing on essentials. It is like plodding through deep heavily and freshly manured fields surrounding a church or masjid. A necessary evil.
– The reason for the pornification tactic appears to be: There was a huge ruckus a few years ago from West when the reality RT/Sputnik presented was in severe discordance with official western reality (I think during late Obama years). Official (State Dep) threats were made to sever them from all western news and satellites (from which most of world links).
– So IMHO, Russian authorities dumbed down most of RT/Sputnik, added salacious material, and trusted viewers would read between the lines, as well as follow the breadcrumbs to TASS/RIA etc., the way astute Youtubers nowadays list links to Bitchute/Rumble on a short YT leader which would not get censored. And in age of online translators, many Zone B have made leap to reading highly informative direct Russian media content which was not ever available on RT.
𝙍𝙚: 𝙎𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙜𝙞𝙘 𝙥𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚
I fully agree, part of the problem, in approach and pace of translation and focus on western functionaries, is to do with 5th column (the Atlantic Integ people). As they are weeded out or further neutered or retire, this should improve.
Perhaps Russians realized since Ukraine 2014 that war was inevitable too? So they chose to focus on rearming and the kinetic domain, rather than informational domain of RT et al. They do not have near unlimited resources of Zone A.
Lastly, the Russian leadership clearly made a decision many years ago to help US/west collapse gently rather than they take everyone with them. Ishchenko has commented on it a lot- this being the preferred outcome, a soft landing. Even intelligent Europeans have predicted coming western civ collapse from decadence for century and more (Spengler) and that Russians, with their big soul, Orthodox faith and élan would inherit the earth.
So in these circumstances, does it make sense to aggressively awaken the near comatose with RT? Look what the shock of Kabul withdrawal debacle did.
Imagine what exposing the foundational lie – the myth of 911 or 100 other false flags – would do. It would accelerate rupture with west, panic the inadequate western leaders and bring closer Armageddon. Better to remain quiet and to let them collapse gently into their own putrid footprint.
Competing or countering the West’s propaganda is only one aspect.
Another key aspect is simply to make easily accessible news and views of one’s country, official announcements, commentaries etc. In many ways this is more effective since the message is not being pushed but pulled by the reader. Hence the need to make the information more easily by using translation services, improved IT etc.
I have a great book on Russian ‘propaganda’ during WW2 – it’s from an exhibition I saw at Chicago Art Institute about a decade ago – The Windows of the War by TASS Agency.
Tass still has the best photography in my opinion out of all other news websites I have ever seen
I got the book there it’s one of my favorite books ever – best paper quality, print and the content.
And whoever wrote it contrasts the Russian approach of inspiring a fighting spirit to the pathetic in comparison equivalent from Anglozionists.
I think everyone at this blog would love that book – it’s one of my favorite.
let me try to find a link on Amazon:
this is it (it’s pretty big – one of the biggest books I have)
(from France) I am glad you express some doubts about the Kremlin’s opposition to the West. How come Putin did not evict the Atlantic Integrationists ? He has the power required, the police, the army. I have been nursing the same doubts myself !
How come Putin did not evict the Atlantic Integrationists?
Because he is not Stalin, meaning that
1) he has to follow the laws and regulations
2) politically, such a purge would “prove” to the West that he is a dictator
3) he only has 24 hours in a day
4) that is not a job for the President
5) what you are talking is what I call “political oncology” (remove the tumor, but don’t remove the healthy tissue) this is very hard to do and takes a lot of time
6) he has a much more important task: protect Russian from a fullscale war with the West
7) he already has removed a lot of them, but the rest of them went “into hiding” (politically speaking) and are pretending to be patriots
deleted by the Saker
Any traces of Novichok in his veins? That would be quite awesome compared to the Skripals and Navalny!
Please do not derail it all with yet another COVID comment.
Well, Saker. Russia is doing fine in the media wars. It has caught so many here in the west enthralled especially Putin. I have yet to hear a bad word about him. Excepting a MBA trained in the ussa in Political Science, she believes the lies. I saw a film long ago about him and what struck was they made a statement to the effect that he was a Master at publicity. He counters with the truth plain and simple, As George Carlin said “I believe nothing the government says, nothing.” I Concur!
My impression of RT is that it is trying to demoralize Westerners re: the status of our culture. If that is true, they would accomplish that task much more efficiently simply by promoting I,Hypocrit’s series of videos called “You Can’t Stop Progress.” Soul-shattering stuff.
Dear friends, what I know is only that:
The more difficult it becomes to defeat Russia and China from the outside (war), the more they will try to accomplish it from the inside (propaganda, aiming at a color revolution)
In this connection, China seems to me to be better prepared to endure than Russia
For 30 years the cosmopolitans (“liberals”; almost 100% of them are the Jews) in Russia have been doing their best in destroying our country.
Like after the October Revolution in 1917 there were about 85% of the Jews in the Russian government, the same 85% (6 out of 7) top oligarchs were ruling and robbing Russia in 1991-1999.
V. V. Putin is not omnipotent – there are still plenty of the Jews (who this time around prefer to call themselves “liberals” and not “communists” like in 1917-1991) among top Russian officials and capitalists.
It will take some time yet before (almost) all the Jews in Russia lose their power, top positions, stolen money, and etc.
Because RT, Sputnik and other news outlets in Russia to a large degree are still run (and staffed) by the Jews, it is no wonder that they continue their millennia long servitude to their “god” – the “Satan” (the forces of the Dark)…
The importance of this subject is too great for anybody to ignore, particularly when the concerned country is Russia and the website is The Saker.
I used to be a regular visitor to Sputnik and, less regular visitor to RT. Hence, my comments will be based on that experience:
(1) i fully concur with Saker’s rant. Presentation in RT and Sputnik are below average. But i don’t think that only discrete actions like quick translation by President / Foreign Minister offices, or careful choice of morally appropriate news or video will be enough
(2) Propaganda for both domestic and foreign consumption needs to be very very carefully planned and executed by the ‘Resistance Camp’ countries. The world is moving through a very difficult phase – media campaign to swing public opinion in favour of countries of Resistance Camp is EXTREMELY crucial.
(3) Negative propaganda by Resistance countries needs to be taken up with all seriousness. The terrific sustained campaign through media and academia being carried out by the Zionist-Capitalist world order clique MUST be countered.
(4) Russia and China must focus on creating a complete system with appropriate investment that will respond to ongoing Zionist-Capitalist challenge.
The Saker once described the US public as the “most brainwashed population on the planet.” This was especially obvious after Israel attacked us on 9/11 and not only got away with it, but used it as the pretext for all the US wars of this century. This is not going to be countered by anything the Resistance Camp nations can do. When Israel decides that the US must go to war, the US goes to war.
This is why none of our wars make sense, economically or strategically. Unlike Russia, the US has never fought a truly defensive war… Ever! All of our wars have been wars of aggression and most of them have been with indigenous people all around the planet. Manifest Destiny equals Zionism equals racism, pure and simple.
@Tommy Apeiron: “why none of our wars make sense, economically or strategically.”
Because they were all directed against so-called “existential enemies of Israel”? Certainly after 911 most of our wars were directed against Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Iran; plus financial and diplomatic support for The State of Israel’s war against its main “existential enemy”: The Holy Land of Palestine.
I would add that all the US wars of this century were designed to bankrupt the USA in every sense of the word. Netanyahu bragged about this in 1990, “America is a golden calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world’s biggest welfare state that we will create and control.” How right he was.
@ Dr. NG Maroudas,
“Certainly after 911 most of our wars were directed against Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Iran;” >>
It all relate to Yinon Plan, Nile-to-Euphrates so-called ‘promised land’ for so-called ‘Jews’ (mizrahim ?)
@ Tommy Apeiron,
“All of our wars have been wars of aggression and most of them have been with indigenous people all around the planet.”
However, my post doesn’t indicate to only war and geopolitics (which needs propaganda and counter-propaganda. I envisioned a HOLISTIC approach that should cover all aspects of a country – geopolitics and war is certainly crucial one, economy, industry, technology research, arts and cinema, religion, literature etc. Essentially the ‘Resistance Camp’ country MUST engage in propaganda and counter-propaganda for both aspects: (hard) power and soft power.
The litmus test for all of these alternative news sites is whether or not they embrace 9/11 truth. That is what makes them either a site worth paying attention to, or one that is obviously a limited hangout.
This is a problem that has numerous aspects to it, I read in the Serbian media I think from a couple of years ago that the Russian ministry of defence, obviously along with GRU, sponsored a major conference either in Moscow or St Petersburg on the issue of SOFT POWER, & Russia utilization or lack of utilization of said ‘soft power’, which of course, includes media propaganda operations. Part of that conference was open to the media, & part if it was closed. What the result of that was I actually had no idea, but at the time I thought maybe we may begin to see a greater effort in the propaganda & psy ops field, which has so far, been very weak. To date, there is not much sign of that. What are the reasons? I believe that the main problem is threefold, 1. Russia’s economic dependence on the west/Europe (which is changing), 2. Russia’s own 5th & especially 6th column, 3. the West’s own counter-propaganda effort that makes it difficult for Russia to penetrate & propagate its own media product.
I despise both RT & Sputnik, but something is very obvious, over the years as the pressure on Russia & Russian media in the West has increased, RT has gotten worse, it has gone from being somewhat decent when it started out, to total crap today. The West has simply told Russia that they will shut down RT & Sputnik’s presence in the West completely if they don’t toe the line. I think that pretty much explains itself.
Then take a look at Russia’s officials, I watched an interview Dimitri Peskov did with BBC Hard Talk, from a few years ago, it was absolutely terrible, Peskov was on the defensive, he didn’t say a fraction of what he could have, he made no real attempt to defend Russia or the administration from a barrage of propaganda assaults – my conclusion? Peskov was either instructed not to rock the boat, or he is so pro-western himself that he wouldn’t want to offend the master race in the west. Then take Lavrov, I read an interview with him not that long ago, & something stood out, he was saying how Russia can not really talk with the EU or their officials, & that relations are at breaking point – but, he said how privately, many of the EU officials he deals with say something different behind closed doors & are actually in agreement with him on many things &, AND, he considers many of these people good personal FRIENDS. I had to read that twice. Good personal friends. Really? May be I would have been a good personal friend with Hitler back in the day, after I stuck a sharp blade through his throat. Good personal friends. Well that says it all for Lavrov.
We are dealing with a complexity of issues here, but one must never underestimate the East European Slavonic inferiority complex ala the West. I am most familiar with Serbia, being born & raised in the UK I have the Anglo mentality, completely, but like the Morrisey song Irish Blood, English heart – mine is Serbian blood, Serbian heart, English head, English character – in Serbia this inferiority complex has done nothing less than bring the country to the brink of destruction, because the most serious national security threat there is the 5th/6th Column, & it exists & thrives on this inferiority complex, it could not exist without it. I’m sure the readers here will understand & I need not say more – this cuts to the heart of the problem. I read Martyanov when he says Russian’s are not interested in Europe & being European, I would hope not & may be the polls do indicate this, but you know, I am not so sure, & where the Russian ruling establishment is concerned, I would say definitely not the case, they are very much interested in being European, see WEST European.
Saker in spite of all the failures of RT, Sputnik, something is happening. I read from time to time spanish news like “el Pais” which is the typical MSM, lying antirussian spanish newspaper. I check it from time to time just to see what the comments look like. To my surprise I started to realize that many spaniards seem losing trust in their own media, they are more critical of their master/s the US, the EU, etc. I suppose this is not the “job” of RT or Sputnik for that matter but rather that people in the EU in general increasingly realize how they are “screwed” by their own politicians and their US/EU masters.
Oh c’mon, Saker. Externally directed propaganda (of any kind) can only be succesful if:
a) the issuing side has a convincing, working alternative to the ideals/ideologies their opponents are promoting,
b) the issuing side has enough resources to support those that acted in accordance with its’ propaganda and aligned with the said issuing side.
Russia has neither, nor is aiming to develop/acquire either.
It doesn’t have a recognizable ideology because if such existed, it would lock Russia within an inflexible set of actions/responses within a rigid code of behaviour detrimental to its’ development and, possibly, existance.
It does not wish to gain ideological converts around the world because it would then have to “feed” them, with absolutely no guarantee of their loyalty.
Russians already went through all this at least twice in the 20th century and will not be entrapped by it again.
Nor will they be entrapped by the issue of “morality”, which is always a morass that a complex state existing in a complex world with no single moral standard present will sink into and perish. This is, after all, not the beginning of the 20th century with a single, Western, Christian definition of “morality” prevalent throughout. Not that it helped the West anyway.
What will the Russian (counter)propaganda look like to the aligned Muslim nations if and when Russians will have to crack down on their own Muslim minority?
What will Russian counterpropaganda be perceived as by the sympathetic “anti-Zionist” crowd when Russians will find it necessary to prop up Israel (as they will eventually may have to do)?
What will Russian counterpropaganda sound like to the Russia-leaning European alt-right crowd when they suddenly realize Russia isn’t about to roll in and save Europe from their own stupidity, at its’ own expense?
A self-serving lie, perhaps? And what would that do to Russia’s image?
Better to keep things as they are.
It’s actually more honest that way.
This is completely off point, on every point made, Russia does have the resources to counter propaganda if it wishes to utilize them. Russia does not have an ideology? Explain what is an ideology? A political formulation of the principles upon which the political institutional state structure will be established, including socio-economy. Russia’s commitment to a multi-polar world order abroad, & a socially just mixed economy at home, is an ideological formulation. It is a set of political principles & beliefs upon which Russia’s government orientates its policies towards the future.
The problem here is the idea of what propaganda is all about, & in the west, many people became deluded with the Chomsky/Herman ‘manufacturing consent’ idea, that propaganda is about brainwashing the mass into complicit passivity. That is not the case however, because the information systems of the western world work in a more complex fashion towards more nuanced ends, where the mass of the population of a given western country is concerned, the media is orientated towards keeping them ignorant, stupid & distracted, that is the function of entertainment & sports. The upper echelon of society, the professional classes, the doctors, lawyers, accountants, managers, & politicians, political propaganda is directed towards them & not so much to brainwash them or convince them of anything because no real serious effort is ever made to make say CNN, or BBC style propaganda convincing or based on skewed evidence – what it is really about is laying down the party line. There is already a ruling class assumption that the upper echelon within society, the upper middle class, lower upper class, upper class & ultra wealthy, basically have a combined interest. Any member of these classes can find out the truth if they want to, they are fed a party line & the logic of this is – IT IS NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, IT IS WHAT YOU CAN PROVE. So western propaganda is ultimately designed for the criminal courts, & when you view it this way, it becomes obvious the more you observe, that this is the case. So a Tony Blair will agree, yes, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq pre 2003 invasion, but Blair says, we believed at the time there were & the intel said so – but, a prosecutor will retort, we know, that you know, that we know that this is a lie, that you knew all along there were no WMD’s. Tony Blair will retort – prove that I knew, you say I knew, but I am telling you I did not, & it is for you to prove it, because we acted in good faith.
So, what is the point for Russia? If Russia produces well crafted, conceived, documented, counter propaganda in all western languages, it totally breaks through this propaganda defence in the information war, & it does it a priori, in advance. The more Russia does this, the more it persists, the more difficult it would be for the combined west to conduct information operations because they would know they can not use this as a defence of for setting the party line effectively at home, because their line of defence has been broken. This is why it is worth it for Russia to engage in this battle, this is why presumably RT was set up in the first place, but as RT became more effective, it came under intensified attack, & now RT has been reduced to a third rate media operation. The fact that the west went after RT is proof of the argument.
An ideology is a clearly defined, overriding set of moral principles dictating society’s worldview and its’ conduct in most of its’ undertakings.
Russia currently does not have one. It has, instead, a loose mass of moral “clumps” revolving around Russian national & self-interest, which can be assembled in any order necessary, utilized on an “as needed” basis, then put away once they served their purpose. Sounds cynical? It is, but it’s incredibly expedient.
Russia’s opposition to the West is based not on opposite ideology, but almost purely on national interest, which current Western ideology happens to threaten. Had the West retained its’ former values, Russia would very likely be quite closely aligned with it, as it had essentially been pre-1917.
Given how things are, however, the following must be stated:
a) Russia doesn’t really give a фак about Western public opinion and sees no point in actively influencing it. For Western elites, however, the message is quite clear: “Undermine us – and reap instability at home, fight us – and be destroyed; trade with us – and prosper”.
Given recent developments, some Western elites *and* general public got the message quite clearly; the ones that didn’t are paying to get it repeated to them.
b) Russia owes nothing to no one. Whether it’s the “pro-Russian” crowd such as seems to assemble here, or an “anti-Russian” crowd elsewhere, everyone seems adamant that Russia ought to behave in ways they believe correct and proper simply because it needs to uphold a certain idea of itself that these people created in their own minds.
“Russia must… Russia should… Russia has to…” – forget it. It neither must, nor should, nor has to do anything that is not in her interest, and that interest has very little to do with the imaginary interest both pro- and anti-Russian folks abroad have dreamed up for themselves.
c) Russia is not really fighting an information war with the West (or, as Saker calls it, “The Empire”) since it’s not really in any serious confrontation with the West at all – simply because the West is currently incapable of any such serious confrontation.
Moreover, Russia is no longer really interested in the West returning to “normal”, as such a West would pose a much greater existential threat to it. Yet it is not interested in its’ collapse either, even though Russia possesses the means to facilitate such a collapse.
The West today is much like a deranged cripple flinging excrement at passerbys from the filthy gutter he fell into. You don’t engage him with rhetoric; you simply shield yourself, pass him by and go about your business.
You could, of course, approach him and attempt to engage him in a meaningful conversation, rebuffing every flung handful of stinking excreta with unassailable arguments and facts. Especially since many other passerbys think you *just should* do exactly that.
But Russians won’t.
Crows are very intelligent birds, much more so than birds of pray. Research finds that crows know what they know and can ponder the content of their own minds, a manifestation of higher intelligence and analytical thought long believed the sole province of humans and a few other higher mammals. Thank you for the common sense comment.
I think Russian diplomacy has always made a point – for better or worse – of acting through official channels and not addressing the population of other countries directly. Even back in XIX century, I think Russia didn’t officially support any of the liberation movements – even the Greek one – as it distrusted revolutionaries in general. (Perhaps the Soviet Union differed in that it did support some liberation movements, but still I think it didn’t trust much those it did not fully control e.g. Spanish republicans, Che etc).
That’s why I think Russian authorities simply don’t have the skill to address those audiences even if they wanted to, plus they don’t trust those of Russia’s “informational allies” that they don’t control. Now, Putin, Lavrov, Zakharova and Simonyan have the relevant skills personally but these are only few, plus not many people from the state bodies are authorised to speak to wide foreign audiences.
As to the RT website, I think they are trying to imitate the Western MSM, e.g. Fox or CNN, which are no better as to the unsavoury content. RT tries to compete with those for the audience…
The Saker wrote, “And maybe somebody somewhere in Russia will read this and, finally, act on this?!”
How about if the Saker community such as myself and others who are not afraid, petition the Russian government as Americans for access to non-national security compromising information of an “informational support” nature as the Saker suggested?
I realize the Russian government strictly follows diplomatic protocol but these are desperate times with the threat of military conflict on the horizon and because the reality is that time is of the essence so to speak to get the word out that is not filtered by the MSM.
In other words as ordinary Americans, we ask the Russian Foreign Ministry to provide a “back channel” that bloggers such as Saker, smoothieX12, et al can have access to in order to write the truth about various events that are always skewed by the western press.
Here is the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, see: https://www.mid.ru/en/main_en .
Here is the Contact page, see: https://www.mid.ru/en/about/contacts .
The Ministry provides an email address for media inquires only but nothing is available for the average person to write to an official directly.
It does little good to reach out to our side since there are too few U.S. politicians and Washington, DC bureaucrats who are not self-serving and brainwashed by the State Department and their MSM lackeys. After all if war breaks out they can hide in their bomb shelters but we will be dead on the ground or impoverished due to a destroyed economy!
We need to think out-of-the-box and therefore it becomes necessary to circumvent proper protocol and talk with the Russian government directly so they can help us help them avoid war.
Change has to start with the people so as a first step, does anyone know how I can write a formal letter to Ms. Zakharova or some other official in the foreign ministry or embassy service?
The answer, of course, is that Zionists dominate Russian media as much as they dominate Western Media. AngloZionists? Yes, for sure, but rest assured, RussoZionists are a plenty also, everywhere, all the time.
So you cannot possibly believe that the Zionists in Russia would be more partial towards free speech. No, Zionist never, ever, will allow genuine free speech. Zionist chooses always, and I mean always, full control and censorship. They like to censor, lie and deceive, that is their nature. You must know the story about the frog and scorpion. “it is my nature.”
It is the child-like believe amongst us that people play fair. Zionist does not even know the word. There is no word for fair in their world. The only “fair” thing they know is an advantage gained by deception. That is “fair” to a Zionist.
If there seems to be, and in reality also exists, a “war” between West and East, it only exists, because Zionists prefer chaos and uncertainty between the White People of West and East. They keep it that way as an insurance. Maybe they need war later? Maybe they must de-invest in West after destroying the economy and need to “invest” (meaning rob the economy) now in Russia? They always must have a backdoor open to them to allow quick departure, if people realize that they have been robbed and destroyed.
So what better than sanctions, chaos, media propaganda and general despair? No, they love it, as long as they themselves get rich at the same time. Look at USA, my Russian friends, yes, you see chaos and despair, but do not sleep well, the very same is destined to come to Russia, once USA has been sucked dry. Oh yes, your streets will be gay, your borders will miraculously open to Africa, your genders will be fluid. Zionistwise.
the very same is destined to come to Russia
Please DO hold your breath :-P
DuckDuckGo is an Israeli company! Just because they don’t filter the search results in a visible way, it doesn’t mean that they don’t send your search data to the Israeli state. Stop promoting this obvious honey pot! People will get killed by using it, if history is to be learned from!
Can you suggest a better alternative?
I was COMPARING
so you accusation of “promoting” is utterly *stupid*
Sorry, I didn’t mean to accuse you of anything, I just get mad when well intentioned people mention this search engine, especially people with big audiences, like yourself.
As for alternatives, I’m not really sure, I was an early adopter, but I quit when they’ve added image search and all the results where from Israel, so I don’t know how good it is. DDG uses Bing and other engines for search, so maybe use that directly, to avoid some targeted filtering of results you could also use your browser’s privacy mode.
I must agree that I have noticed a marked decline in RT quality in the last little while.
I used to enjoy watching some stuff on RT.
It was unfortunately cut off here (the Netherlands) in the wake of the “Russian election interference.”
Which was amusingly also accused of interfering in Dutch election machines, even though these were abolished around 2011.
I have to corroborate your observations.
RT resembles English (Daily Mail) tabloids more and more, and is less interesting to me.
While NATO countries are ramping up information warfare, scores of new institutions, army, navy, intelligence brigades, etc etc., Russia is not serving its own interest with its low key efforts. Although I think Western propaganda efforts will ultimately succeed only in destroying society, in the sense of common public interest & cooperation.
I’ve noticed RT has been ‘dummed down’ from it’s initial years – fatigue?. AS someone has already said below, Russian leadership has accepted that trying to influence western opinion is a pointless task – we are non-agreement capable. Occasionally though RT does troll the West beautifully – the Petrov/Boshirov interview post-Skripal was a pearler. Another idea is that Russia seems to be taking a ‘small-target’ approach, to not rile the west, just roll along and watch the west implode, maybe? Removed. Mod.
Regarding RT’s increasing use of British Page 3-style tabloid nudes, I guess it could be worse. Instead of being plastered with women in bikinis, RT could be plastered with men in bikinis. ;-)
In all seriousness, however, if Russia wants to increase its “counter-propaganda” efforts, becoming the Russian version of Fox News or CNN is probably the last thing that it should be doing.
Dan Glazebrook, who used to appear on RT, talks about why he stopped working with this news outlet and offers an interesting analysis of RT’s political stratagem in general.
In particular, he notes how RT-English has tried to pander to quasi-fascistic political sensibilities in the West, particularly in terms of their vilification of migrants from the Global South. RT-English includes some “leftist” political commentators–but only to pull progressives into supporting broader reactionary Right Wing politics.
He states: “The boundaries between militant left and militant right have become more porous, to the benefit of the right, and RT has played a major part in facilitating this phenomenon. Fascists like Alexander Dugin in Russia and Steve Bannon in the US – with deep ties to the Russian and US bourgeois state leadership – are leading this new type of fascist recruitment drive which aims to unite far left and far right under the leadership of the far right. Leftwingers like George Galloway are now defending Steve Bannon and people who consider themselves leftists are reposting fascist websites and talking points without even realising it. The new fascist strategy – of reaching out to the left and slowly, subtly, bringing them round to neo-fascist positions – has been very effective. One example of how successful this strategy has been is on the issue of migration…. I am not saying RT is a ‘fascist channel’ per se; it is more subtle than that. Rather, it is doing the spadework for fascism.”
WHY I QUIT WORKING WITH RT
Another major failing is in allowing Western interests to infiltrate Russian social institutions. After seeing what happened in Ukraine,and what was attempted (still not completely over) in Belarus.And in Armenia,and Georgia. One would expect Russia would end that Western infiltration, but no,they haven’t.In this exposure from RT,leaked files show the criminal actions the British have been up to in Russia to undermine the Russian government among essential business elements in Russia’s economy:
‘One Rule for Britannia? UK’s new post-Brexit ‘global’ fund is a front for meddling in Russia’s politics, leaked documents reveal’
One other fairly easy thing Russia could do to raise Russia’s esteem among Western peoples would be to provide English subtitles not just for their news programs and talk shows .But for the numerous great Russian TV series ,movies and music shows on YouTube. The viewership of these programs on YouTube can range into the millions as it is.But almost all of that is from Russian speakers.If they were subtitled ,that viewership would probably double from Westerners alone watching them.And as we know from the success of Hollywood in raising the US’s image in the World,film is very important in that way.
I, for one, love RT because the Western alternatives are so horrible. They actually give both sides of controversial issues, something that’s unheard of these days. As for the female tushie ads, I’m not easily offended and this kind of nonsense makes me laugh. I see what you mean, they could and should be a more dignified news outlet. On the other hand, this blatant sex appeal may bring in more American readers who desperately need to be enlightened.
The websites for RT and Sputnik are on my daily scan of news. They are just one “tool” I use. I also scan for US Drudge Report and CNN to see what the establishment wants me to believe. Reading even just the headlines for CNN is painful is they must be the most propaganda driven outlet. For rt.com there are good articles like those from Scot Ritter.
A possible explanation as to why things are the way they are could be the following:
– Russia has a more independent and free mainstream press – therefore less coordination and controlled explanations and therefore further delays.
– The West does not have any independent and free mainstream press – therefore greater coordinatiin and controlled explanations and collaboration and therefore functiins as a well oiled propaganda machine. There is only regurgitation – no well informed analysis or research therefore lesd time spent on such matters and more time spreading the government message verbatim without criticism.
It also helps that English is more widely spoken abroad, so less work, and more locals themselves can translate for you.
Building a new Youtube won’t be easy, however. Google and the like didn’t accidentally come about overnight. But it does help that at the start, they were the only ones and established a monopoly. When you have to compete with that long after the fact, it’ll be difficult. Especially if you want to do so without hemmoraging money.
My advice would be to offer the banned and censored Western critics and youtubers a place on the Russian service. Garner an audience that way. Also as Youtube etc. well learned, as much as you would like it to be a platform of only intelligent discussion, Youtube grew chiefly because of people making videos of pets, women, comedy, viral stupid things, TV skits and clips of media from long ago and their favorite TV shows etc. Basically what the masses normally consume. All of that is also what allowed the more intellectual serious things to exist and grow. Also the monetary incentive. People made money through YT. Everything from dicumentaries to playing video games.
Can Russia set all of that up? It woukd be like trying to dislodge Coca Cola from the top of the beverage industry. But it does help when YT and Facebook and Twitter are cutting their own throats. So there is a chance if Russia or any other start ups take advantage of discontented YT creators and users.
RT and Sputnik are a sort of dummy, placebo etc.
Sure, I personally would like these sites to give good information; to me.
But for propaganda purposes, it will backfire spectacularly. Harsh for me to say it but you just don’t understand Anglo culture.
Can’t explain further because these stuff are not easy to put to words in a logical way.
I don’t think a more effectively organized RT (rt.com) and Sputnik can over come the propaganda juggernaut of Western propaganda machine. Now the government can certainly do things like faster translations so various pundits and outlets can understand and carry the story if they so agree. But really, the union of governments, so-called private media such CNN, think tanks, phony cybersecurity organizations, etc, is just too much to overcome. It is incredible to this day that the majority of US members of the democratic party believe Putin’s agents actually changed vote tallies to throw the election to Trump. Or worse yet, I mean ever worse yet, Western Europeans believe the US was mainly responsible for defeating Hitler. ‘
The Russian government must have experts to read Western and world events and practice guerilla propaganda aimed very specifically. Case in point. The Sputnik V vaccine. I read their Twitter account and absolutely amazing that while Pfizer makes/extorts billions from Western countries and imposes odious terms on other countries, Sputnik V is helping vaccinate the rest of the world. And is now proving the vaccine is better than the mRNA vaccines. Cynical actions according to the West, but maybe instead Christian charity instead, maybe???. By the way, I saw the lead of the group funding the vaccine,and he is a very ineffective spokesman. It just seems this is all a lost opportunity. BTW, here is link to twitter account: https://twitter.com/sputnikvaccine.
It may be the case that Russia has lost large parts of the West, but maybe not the case for the rest of the emerging world. One of my best buddies is from a SE Asian country . He had a high school reunion and many friends, etc, were millionaires, academics, teachers, doctors, etc. Men who make a mark. And they got to discussing world events, and spoke of Putin. They called him a HERO. I had to ask they really said hero? He said yes. But get this: a few weeks earlier I saw some world wide poll that claimed that Putin was unpopular in many countries. Such BS!!
RT and Sputnik are successfully introducing Russia to Western audiences regardless of your criticisms. If that means fighters and men who appreciate a bit of fluff mixed in with some very important messaging sowhat! Without the we would have what Tass? Or should we slurp up what comes out of that pustule the Moscow Times?
Maximum is a joint venture of Westwood One and Moscow Times. The F I would like to CC as much as Steve Earle would never allow a Russian broadcaster (even Atlanticist ones probably) to team up with an Americastani rag and broadcast in a major U.S. city, let alone Washington, D.C.