BERLIN – Until recently, the phenomenon of Russian government propaganda was only interesting to a small group of Russia experts, news junkies and counter-propaganda fundraisers. It was mainly seen as a tool for keeping Russians supportive of Vladimir Putin. No longer. Thanks to post-U.S. election blame games, and the upcoming election season in Europe, how the Russian state pushes its messages to Western audiences is a hot political topic. It’s also woefully misunderstood.
As the Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev, who started his own project to debunk Russian government propaganda, puts it: “The fight against fake news has itself turned into fake news. It’s a kind of meta-propaganda.” Continue reading