The efficacy of Russian propaganda is clearly evident through creasing of the spine of pretty much any history book which graces the reader with knowledge of the Soviet machine, гулаг, the history of government edited public literature like Правда and the strict censorship of independent news like Новый Мир.
Now we fast forward several decades, and the Russian propaganda machine again has once again reared its head, this time its six foot stomach growling with hunger pains at the crisis in Украина. As Russian television continues to blare a loud noise into the hearts and minds of its domestic listeners that there is an unstable situation in Ukraine which needs to be resolved "without the irrational violence of the protesters or involvement of the Western powers," pro-Russian forces continue to exacerbate the problem by instigating violence, leading riots, and oppressing ethnic Ukrainians under the guise of fear of oppression against ethnic Russians.
“Although there were some attacks against the ethnic Russian community, these were neither systematic nor widespread,” said the report, which was based on two United Nations missions to Ukraine between March 15 and April 2.
“It’s all lies,” said Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on Russian politics at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “The Russia leadership doesn’t care about how it’s being perceived in the outside world, in the world of communication, in the world where we have plurality of information and where information can be confirmed and checked. This is a radical change in attitude toward the West.”
Ms. Shevtsova added: “We can’t trust anything. Even with the Soviet propaganda, when they were talking with the Soviet people, there were some rules. Now, there are no rules at all. You can invent anything.”
Russian news continues to allude to (and occasionally outright allege) the nefarious activities occurring in Ukraine - everything from the presence of Ukrainian gunships mowing down ethnic Russians to full scale military mobilizations in the north. Almost every report manufactured by Russian outlets has been challenged by UN intelligence. The most recent report refuted by the UN in an official report was a phone call made by President Путин on Tuesday with the German chancellor - Putin stated that Ukraine was on the brink of civil war; a statement later confirmed in a press conference by Дмитрий Медведев. “The only way to preserve Ukraine and calm the situation,” Mr. Medvedev said, requires “recognizing that Russian citizens are the same as Ukrainians and, therefore, can use their own language in everyday life.”
The ultimate goal of the full court press by the Russian media outlets was a paralyses of the Western powers for long enough to solidify their hold on Crimea.
“It was on one level transparent, embarrassingly transparent,” Mr. Galeotti said. “But I know from my conversations with various people in government, it did create that sort of paralysis, or uncertainty."
He added, “In my estimation, all they needed was a six-hour window and, by that point, they were unassailable.”