Kremlin propaganda to amplify its influence on foreign audiences

Head of the Kremlin's RT (Russia Today) news agency Dmitry Kiselyov projecting the image of a nuclear mushroom cloud and boasting Russia's ability to turn US "into radioactive dust." RT is the Kremlin's soapbox to promote its policies, denigrate the West and propagate conspiracy theories, as well as attack the political opposition to Putin. (Image: screen capture)

Head of the Kremlin's RT (Russia Today) news agency Dmitry Kiselyov projecting the image of a nuclear mushroom cloud and boasting Russia's ability to turn US "into radioactive dust." RT is the Kremlin's soapbox to promote its policies, denigrate the West and propagate conspiracy theories, as well as attack the political opposition to Putin. (Image: screen capture) 

2014/11/07 • Russia

It’s no secret that Russia’s international broadcasting service is trying with all its might to conquer the global media market. Last week, «Russia Today», the flagship of the Russian state propaganda, entered the UK airwaves and opened its own studio in London.

This week was also marked by a new step in the evolution of the Russian information machine – the International Information Agency “Russia Today” (RT) has decided to launch a new Internet project under the working title “Sputnik”.

RT’s Director General Dmitry Kiselev is trying to keep this a secret, since spending hundreds of millions of dollars on propaganda while Russia’s domestic economy has fallen is no joke.

It became known that on 29 May 2014 RT has registered two new media entities called “Sputnik” in Roscomnadzor (Russian federal communications regulator): a radio channel and an information agency. It is expected that a separate news agency will be created under this brand, one that is exclusively focused on foreign audiences.

As reported, the “Sputnik” Radio Station will broadcast in the format of an Internet radio in 45 languages. Its highest priority will be targeting the United States, Canada, Western Europe, China, India, Latin America, Japan, and Middle East countries. It is expected that the new Internet radio station will use the IT resources of the unsuccessful “Voice of Russia” media company. And over time, “Voice of Russia” media company will become a part of the “Sputnik” information agency.

“Sputnik” information agency is likely to be an interactive news platform, which will combine a news feed, discussions and analytic materials. It will operate communication lines: SMS texting service, e-mail and video conferencing. “Sputnik” will give users an opportunity to create their own blogs and keep them in the discussion of events. At the same time, access to other resources MIA “Russia Today” will be simplified by clicking a specific icon.

The main objective of “Sputnik” is to keep the Internet user inside its own information field. More than a hundred of programmers, web-designers, marketing and public relations specialists have already started working to accomplish this.

Russia began to diversify its media-propaganda stream to amplify the influence of Russia on foreign audiences. Given the negative sentiment foreigners against Moscow, it will create a domestic field for accusations against the Kremlin leadership for an improper expenditure of budgetary funds, or simply another round of stealing. Considering the falling economy, the “sagging” ruble, and the broken social support net, it is considered to be–at a minimum–frivolous to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on another propaganda project.

Information about how much this project will cost the Russian budget is almost non-existent.

It is known that the annual funding for RT amounted to $350m a year. But, according to unofficial data, in 2014, to increase media impact on Ukraine and the West, RT received about $500m (for comparison, the annual budget of the “Voice of America” – is just $13m).

According to official data from Russian media, for 2015, RT will receive funding that is 2.5 times higher compared to previous years. RT’s TV channel will increase its expenses by 41%-45%, but the unofficial figure for 2015 is $725m.

In addition, the financing and development of the “Sputnik” international news agency is estimated to be no less than $75m per year.

It is necessary to emphasize the fact that for 2015 Russia once again cut its health and education budget by 20-30%. In addition, in 2015 the Russian government cut its “Crimea aid” by almost four times.

But in the end it turns out that the Russian authorities, while hurting Russian people in getting a quality education, health and social support net are spending money on the information war that no one needs.

Article by Vyacheslav Gusarov, expert of the Center of military-political research group “Information Resistance”

Translated by: A. N.
Source: Information Resistance

  • Michel Cloarec

    “Russia began to diversify its media-propaganda stream to amplify the influence of Russia on foreign audiences. Given the negative sentiment foreigners against Moscow, ”
    OUPS ! What a surprise ! Don´t they wonder why these negative sentiments ?
    And they think that their “sputnik” will make the world change ! But ok it will always help their economy down. The dollar at 50 rubles is the first goal ! and then the baril at 50$ is the next goal ! And the Ussr of today will disapear one more time !
    RT was a shame, RT will always be a shame !

  • Brent

    One correction to this article. This would be the DEVOLUTION, not evolution, of Russian media…

    But the good news is the rest of the world will be getting more Russian comedy and things to laugh at!!!

    • Ian Rutherford

      The comedy of more gas from brent’s arse continues .. Ha Ha indeed ..

    • Milton Devonair

      You’re under the impression that russia had actually progressed forward, evolved a little since it was temporarily freed of itself when their ussr collapsed. I think maybe they had a glimpse of honesty, but being russians, they couldn’t handle the responsibilities that come with freedom, so they quickly went back to looking for some authoritarian ape to dictate to them while the governing apes tell them how great they are.

      So no russia never has experienced freedom. And for their media, the apes kept murdering humans there until there were no other media there but theirs, putins and his criminal mobsters.

      russia has always been a disease to humans.
      russia is ebola.

      • Nick

        Dude, ur just a douchebag, I am Russian, I speak English, go to the same school as Americans, have a free mind, and I am not a fan of Putin, but I dont hate him just because CNN or BBC tells me to… A nation cannot be a desease to humanity, individuals who influence the world and history in different ways are the “Ebola”. U are saying that we don`t have a choice, that we are stupid idiots who need someone to tell us what to do. Did american citizens march into Iraq, bomb Belgrade or kill the Vietnamese, or bomb Japan? I don`t think so…

  • rgb

    OMG! How the competition with the ISIS has increased!

  • jil

    The demonic genocidal maniac Lenin, set the basis for all Russian culture and media in 1917, which continues today.
    He implemented “THE BIG LIE.”
    He wrote, “A LIE TOLD OFTEN ENOUGH BECOMES TRUTH.”
    This is why Russia continues to churn out lies through its Military/Propaganda complex today.

  • jil

    Russian propaganda is its chief offensive weapon. Far more important & effective than grads,tanks and military divisions….

    Ukraine must arm itself in priority with information capability-
    telling the TRUTH, against the Big Russian lie.

    This gives the most bang for the buck as Russia’s entire propaganda budget would pay for just one modern jet aircraft. Yet the propaganda literally does the destructive work of hundreds of such jet planes in destroying Ukraine

  • Dirk Smith

    Once again they utilize the USSR reference, ‘Sputnik.’ The KGB megalomaniac is living his Steven Seagal fantasy. Mentally ill.

  • boisvb

    I am baffled about Ukraine’s desire to join the european union. Wake up
    guys, the EU is a BIG illusion, an even BIGGER FAILURE, a Titanic soon to go
    down. The Ukraine is bankrupt. Well guess what…..Europe is already bankrupt
    for a loooong time. Ukraine needs money, a LOT of money to avoid default (wasn’t
    it 27 billion?). And that is exactly what the EU does NOT have, Brussels is
    ready to help you with ….. 1 billion, that’s all folks !! ECB’s Draghi (yeah,
    he came from Goldman Sachs, remember? the criminal banksters that helped Greece
    to cheat to be able to join the EU !!) has decided to print his way out of
    recession (by the way it never worked for anyone, not the US, not Japan) by
    creating 1000 billion to buy up totally worthless government bonds. The euro
    will soon be toiletpaper. The EU is a shitty project which was bound to fail
    right from the start. It is driven by total idiots pursuing a sick ideology. One
    of the reasons (at least that’s what they say) is that they do not want wars
    anymore like those that ravaged Europe in the past. Well guess what….with
    those idiots in Brussels that let themselves being pushed around by the US they
    are driving us right into a war. And as far as “bullhorn propaganda” RT is
    concerned I prefer watching it over BBC, CNN and the like which only repeat
    bullshit that is released by government spokes(wo)men (a la Jen Psaki, what a
    disaster this women). They are totally government controlled !! We need REAL
    journalism, not stupid repetition of statements not backed by any proof.
    (remember flight MH17? The day after the crash it was ALL OVER the western
    media. It was all Putin’s fault. Normally when any airplane goes down nothing
    appears in the media until the thorough investigation, which may last up to
    several years, finishes up and releases it’s report. Not here, no no no, it was
    the dirty russians who were responsable. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I think the
    west has sunk very low. Is it the bad schooling system, the marihuana
    consumption, the ecstasy or the alcohol consumption of the last generations? I
    think we have a VERY SERIOUS problem guys and it is NOT russia, or Putin, or RT
    !!! And the EU is not the paradise that they promised to all their citizens.
    Neither is the euro. The whole project STINKS from all sides. And if you don’t
    want to see it, then keep on dreaming guys. One day you’ll wake up out of your
    sweet dreams and realize it was all just wishfull thinking. There’s not a day
    passing without major marches all over Europe. And these marches are not because
    the citizens ar sooo happy. It’s because they are TOTALLY FED UP with the
    bullshit that Brussels tries to sell them. The end is in sight ……………
    sigh …. what a relief to think it will be all over soon. And I think that
    SPUTNIK is a GREAT idea. One more newschannel that has reporters on the ground
    right where the action is to show us what’s really happening in stead of just
    spreading rumours and repeating government released bullshit.