Russia Spreads Propaganda in Crimea During Blackout

Moscow seeks to discredit west in news reports as it abuses the rights of minorities in Ukraine

Russia is said to be tightening its grip on news sources in Crimea during a power blackout on the peninsula, according to reports, as the Kremlin continues to wage information warfare in Eastern Europe and abroad.

Reuters reported that Crimeans, including a large percentage of Russian speakers and consumers of Russian TV networks, have blamed Ukraine rather than Moscow for the crisis. Earlier this year, Russia cut off the last independent Tatar TV station and expanded the reach of its own outlets. Those networks feature a heavy dose of anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western propaganda.

There are also reports that Moscow is using mobile TV units on vans to broadcast Russian news to Crimeans without power.

Russia has employed a variety of tactics to spread propaganda that portrays Western countries as ideologically extreme and aggressive toward Moscow, including using social media to promote hoax stories and linking Ukrainian forces to fascist movements and terrorist groups. The recent downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish fighter jets provides another example of how Russian propaganda manipulates events to sow distrust and confusion among its audiences.

While President Vladimir Putin officially criticized Turkey for the incident and called it a “stab in the back delivered by the accomplices of terrorists,” Russian media and state agencies broadcast several different theories about the culprit behind the jet downing. Some reported that the CIA was “controlling” the Turkish F-16s, others said that President Obama approved the actions by the Turkish air force, and still others attributed blame to terrorists shooting anti-aircraft missiles supplied by Ukraine.

Full article: Russia Spreads Propaganda in Crimea During Blackout (Washington Free Beacon)

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