February 6, 2023

Gatov, a former Russian journalist and state propaganda expert, said cooperation between the Kremlin and the state broadcaster goes back more than two decades. Every day, the Kremlin provides broadcasters with a list of talking points. Gatov said the closely guarded document, known as a “temnik,” was handed over to senior officials at VGTRK and other organizations, outlining the positive or negative issues the Kremlin wanted to cover, as well as points to support and points to criticize. people. Saw a copy.

The Kremlin’s tight grip on the media has tightened since the invasion of Ukraine, but as the war drags on longer, people’s trust in what they see is declining and its violent reality is becoming harder to hide , said Vera Thorz, a professor at a Russian university. Manchester, who has researched Russian media for the British Parliament and the European Union. “There are cracks,” she said.

Early in the war, what wasn’t clearly outlined in the Kremlin’s order was left for TV producers to fill in.

The United States is a frequent target, according to the documents. Every day, emails circulate with a long list of news clips and viral posts that serve as a palette to paint a bleak picture of America.

In early February, weeks before the Ukraine invasion, producers played a clip of President Biden refusing to answer questions about sending troops to Poland, backing up the idea that the United States was eager to fight. A New York Times story about Ukraine waging an aggressive information war against Russia was also rewritten as evidence of the country’s dishonesty. Another photo from the British “Daily Mail” shows Biden picking his teeth.

As the war dragged on, producers sought out clips about the American aftermath. One, from a local news program in northern Alabama, was about a sticker put on a gas station showing Mr. Biden saying, “I did it.” Another video showed a U.S. grocery store being emptied of food , from a Telegram post that went viral. It appeared to inspire the broadcast after the headline, “Oil Shock and Empty Shelves: Trump’s Grim Prediction Is Coming True.”

VGTRK reporter Denis Davydov in Washington gained new popularity in March when he flagged a seven-year-old YouTube post claiming the US and NATO were fueling Russian hostility toward Ukraine .



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