Since the Kremlin’s seizure of Crimea in March 2014, setting off what I’ve termed Cold War 2.0 between Russia and the West, propaganda has played a key role in President Vladimir Putin’s new aggressiveness. There’s general consensus that the Kremlin’s weaponized propaganda represents a significant component of Russia’s arsenal in the shadow conflict of ideas, information, espionage, and secret warriors that I’ve called Special War.
How the Kremlin employs propaganda to create favorable political conditions for Putin’s revanchist aims has gotten a lot of media attention, and rightly so. Flush with cash, since the former KGB colonel Putin understands the importance of agitprop, Russia’s propaganda arsenal encompasses a wide array of outlets, aimed at various audiences around the globe. Americans are most familiar with English-language networks like Russia Today (rebranded as RT) and Sputnik.
Both have considerable online presence and they disseminate unfiltered Kremlin propaganda with aplomb. There’s a gullible Western audience for this unsubtle agitprop, despite the fact that they’re highly questionable outlets. RT employs avowed neo-Nazis and even has an Illuminati correspondent, while Sputnik recently has engaged in outright genocide denial. If you like nuance in any form, these Russian networks are not for you.
Read the rest at the New York Observer …