Truth Wears a Smirk: On Russian Influence in Alt Media

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Han Fei says:

    While I can understand the justification of your latest activity, Mr. Malic you seem to be suffering a mild case of pruritus russoritis. Experts say it’s caused by sitting next to a big ursine creature who considers you its little brother breathing down your neck. It is very common genetic condition affecting people of Balkan, West Slavic and Yahwist-emigre origins and is manifested by symptoms of ignorance of everything else that’s going on. For those of us who are being currently digested in the guts of the Comcastic horned adder, the threat of distant bears and their lovingly hungry purrs is quite low on our list of concerns.

    So with that in mind I’d like to turn to our friends, Mr. Weiss and Mr. Pomerantsev to ask them one question. What do you have to offer? How does your eligibility to tell us what to think rank up with that of the lofty voices of Mother Russia?

    More wars waged for the sake of foreign regimes with a significant lobby component in Congress. More targeted assassinations of “terrorists” who happen to be political opponents of the aforementioned regimes. More undeclared shadow budgets for undeclared shadow wars. More interventions and “democratic” coups. More international drug and human trafficking, more materiel enabling of terrorist groups (termed respectively CIA intelligence assets and freedom fighters). Promotion of moral standards and questionable economic doctrines designed to serve the interests of a select clique, which quite frankly aren’t even acceptable in the West due to resistance from established labor groups, religious and activist movements. Media circuses and cynical hypocrisy surrounding actions of certain states trying to defend their own national sovereignty.

    What has the record shown over the past 30 years, except a string of disasters and millions of dead? It’s not like Russian media influence appeared overnight. The official voice had 30 years after the end of the Cold War to prove the credibility of your narratives, and all they delivered was nothing but a string of cynical lies, opportunistic “expediencies” and pure incompetence. Tell me, given everything you have given us over the years, why should anyone listen to you?

    The reason why the Russian narrative works is that the West’s is significantly worse. Why? Because the West larger, richer, more specialized, better qualified, better supplied, more populous and far, far more megalomaniacal. Yes, Western citizens enjoy a higher standard of living. But what sufferers of pruritus russoritis don’t understand, is that elements of totalitarianism and civil rights repression are every bit as brutal in the West as they are in ol’ barbarian Russia. In fact, I’d say more so, since as the Russians still use crude methods, such as jailing or beating opponents, in the West the methods to destroy a journalist or an academic’s career and reputation are far more technologically subtle and hence, far more effective.

    Why do you think so many activists choose RT as their outlet? Because RT lets them talk. “Legacy” media like CNN would never even give them a moment on the air, and even if it did, they would cut out key parts of the interview to make it seem like the interviewee in question is a “lunatic” a person who shouldn’t be taken seriously. This happened countless times with Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. The media narrative spun him as a deranged racist by selectively choosing clips and narrowing talking points to voice absurd sound bites. Try googling a non-establishment politician such as Alan Grayson or Tulsi Gabbard. The first few pages will consist nothing except article after article “exposing” how crazy and bad these people are without providing any substantial arguments against their political platforms. Now do that with an establishment backed politician, and you will find pages and pages of libation. There was for the most part, nothing but positive, almost lavish praise of Hillary in the media. The expositions, damning ones at that, of her and her husband’s criminal activity were found precisely in alternative sources. Russians spiked her drink to make her so hilariously corrupt?

    With journalists its even worse. You’re lucky if nobody listens to you. Nobody listened the expose of 100’s of POWs being abandoned in Vietnam and plenty of evidence surrounding John McCain being a traitor, or the US government’s targeted extrajudicial assassination programs carried all over the world, or countless such examples. If you uncover something you aren’t supposed to know, the public will soon learn of your “suicide” by a gunshot to the back of the head. Since the media controls the narrative, it controls public discourse, and it does so on a completely disproportional scale to what Russia is capable of.

    So what is Russia capable of? Well let’s look at how RT operates. It makes a headline. “Bunch of rabbis gather in this spot” “Some Jew complains about something” “Spokeswoman Zakharova brilliant sexy takedown of Western media”. A bunch of fairly bland text follows 3/4 of which simply describes the event and in some rare cases 1/4 insinuates something about its meaning. Pictures of rabbis, a grimacing Jew’s face, or Zakharova in her workout outfit. Then the comments roll in. Everything you think possible that can be said about the Jews or Mrs.Zakharova will be said. In fact I’d go as far as say that the essence of RT is the comments. Without comments RT is pointless. It gives an outlet to the deranged minds to speak their things that were long repressed by enforced standards of “acceptable” discourse. Generally the same applies to English Putin fansites Russia Insider and Fort Russ. Lastly there’s RBTH, which is also the voice of Russia establishment, but much more moderate in tone and without comments. Its readerbase is pebbles compared to the above three. This is an important point to consider.

    You think this somehow measures up to the panopticon of disinformation that minds in Europe and US are daily exposed in their mass media?

    Even if I were to lump all readers of the major alt-media outlets and this includes /pol/, reddit, zero hedge, 21st wire, sott, globalresearch, and so on so on, it would still not be dwarfed by several orders of magnitude to the reader clout that “official” sources of information possess, like legacy media websites or TV, in particularly talk shows which by large spout the narrative of the globalist establishment, but in an entertaining manner. Russia is peanuts. Mr. Pomegranate’s endless kvetching about it is only helpful in this regard, because it only reinforces the extent of his own lack of credibility.

    That’s not to say it’s a good thing for people to all of a sudden turn en masse to alternative media. It is my personally held opinion that all unlocalized news media needs to be banned and replaced with endless reruns of Pokemon. Similar sense of buzz and no side effects.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      Love the Pokemon idea ha, ha.

      Psychologizing my motives won’t make the elephant leave the room: Russia is not its projected image; and this is the only thing it provides to the Western “alternative” crowd. So, why take anything said by their establishment except in the sense I take these ultra liberal’s views on their enemy?

      Btw. real liberal chaos is far more acceptable than liberal chaos with the projected image of tradion, which, I think, the Russia is.

      Otherwise, I have no enmity towards Russians and am a fervent advocate of good relations of my country with them, to which they are extremely well disposed. The Serbs and Macedonians are those that should worry about “bear’s gifts” – which is an expression here to denote receiving the gift that will cost you highly.

      • Avatar Han Fei says:

        A great deal of the issue I’m having with your latest podcast comes from the fact that very few of the targeted audience know Russian, and can therefore form a clear image of the their sphere of information. It isn’t anyone’s fault of course, after all no one can blame God for feeling alarmed when a bunch of Bronze age people built a structure too close to the heavenly abode. But this is something that can’t be ignored either.

        When we are talking about the supposed Russian narrative, there is really only one viewpoint being considered here. That of Kremlin. And this can’t be made sufficiently clear enough. Dugin is pushing a ridiculous ego-power tripping fantasy about said viewpoint being festooned all over the surface of the globe. But the extent of every political ideology is limited to its backing from the masses. Imperialism as an ideology can’t sway the people unless it arises from grounds already possessing popular support, such as religion, nationhood or the socioeconomic question. Even Genghis Khan led the Mongols on by promises of better pastures. The demographic Dugin’s thinking most likely appeals comes from Russian nationalists of various stripes, a sizeable segment to be sure. But I see simply no way that his kind of talk can be accepted seriously among these types, due to the glaring contradictions between Dugin’s doctrines and the reality of the political discourse in Russia relevant to them.

        A great deal of Russian nationalists supported Maidan in principle. Even most of them switched sides later, it was out of patriotism and realization that the event was a Western staged coup. They are anti-orthodox (or at least that which ROC represents) for many reasons, not the least of which because the official church made it clear that it doesn’t stand for ethnic separatism. Many are atheist Neo-Stalinists, or reject Abrahamic religions altogether. They despise migrants, because the government finds it cheaper to hire semi slave labor, flooding the capital with Central Asians at the expense of the impoverishment of ethnically Russian urban locales outside of the Moscow belt. They deplore the over-representation of non-Russians in oligarchs and elites, especially among ethnic groups they view as hostile to Russia. These are the issues they are concerned with. Not world domination, not totalitarian Empire, not geopolitics. In fact I’d wager that most of them would be perfectly content with the European part of Russia, ditching the vast territories east of Ural and south of the Volga-Don basins as long as it guaranteed a separatist ethno-state intended entirely for Russians. That is to say, the exact opposite orientation from geopolitics.

        Who else does Dugin have to turn to? The far left? Liberals? Military-political establishment? We can rule out the first two for the very simple reason that Dugin’s syncretism of mutually opposing ideas under the guise of building some sort of Imperial Disneyland would find little catch there. The latter pay heed to any voice that can convince the public into accepting a greater military budget. But one thing you need to know about the Russian military establishment is that in the end, it’s their viewpoint that matters, not anyone else. Just because some instructor has a copy of Foundations of Geopolitics on his shelf, hardly implies that it’s going to all of a sudden become the guiding policy of the Russian military. I believe I have demonstrated sufficiently that Duginism is not, nor can ever be the driving idealistic principle in Russian society. Only a complete idiot would think that.

        Speaking of idiocy, let’s turn back to Western media. Why this focus on Dugin instead of the likes of Triandaffilov, Isserson, Svechin and others that laid out the Russian political-military strategy, which judging by recent events, leads one to hardly assume was abandoned by the Russian General Staff? Because those are hard to read and for the most part, follow the standards of academic discourse. Dugin on the other hand, is a proverbial quote mine. Everything he says essentially points to the world view of a comic book villain, the kind that Hollywood so much loves to put in the limelight. If you want to convince your readers that Putin has this figure whispering in his ear all his plans to secretly orchestrate downfall of the democratic world (lol) and why everyone should feel outraged about this and write to their congressman to approve an urgent 100 billion dollar defense/security bill…well then.

        Western narrative doesn’t even narrate, it impels. They impel you to be indignant at something, they impel you that another side to the issue doesn’t exist, they impel you to look at the world in a state of black and white… What is insinuated in every publication (and all I have to do is open any page of Maclean or The Sun to see no significant change in partiality from Guardian, WP or Der Welle) is that the other side is absolutely evil and if you, dear reader don’t feel the same way, you too are evil by association. Stray from this narrative and you’re labeled a Russian stooge or someone influenced by Russian disinformation, i.e. a problem child. There’s absolutely no consideration that maybe, just maybe, Russia’s recent actions might have had a political (not geopolitical) justification, or that Russia is too, part of the community of nations and is thus party to the same kind of political decision making scruples as the rest. But this isn’t quite yet the crux.

        What kind of effect does this “torrent” have on the minds in individualist Western society, where the entire media, almost without exception, impels them to look at events from a singular prognosticated viewpoint? In the purest postmodern sense of the word, it creates a dialectic. Exposition to such a brazen amount of bullshit on a daily basis eventually leads to a loss of elementary critical thinking. When the mind has already been conditioned to handle an extreme of falsehood and illogicality, such that when it sees an opposite extreme essentially giving voice to thoughts it was long taught to suppress, it can no longer muster the force of needed skepticism to overcome it. RT for its part does not impel – it insinuates. All it has to do is write a suggestive headline and repeat, yes, simply repeat without comment, the Western media view, in order to get the reader to “question more”. And in this supposed questioning, the typical alt medicated audience is in fact giving sway to their absurd and most irrational impulses of thought, all the while subtly led to assume the Kremlin narrative as the only rational strain emerging from this confused muddle of imagination. It’s cunningly simple. Take advantage of the audience’s confirmation bias through excerpting the mainstream media, and they will think they came to these ideas all by themselves. This is why alternative media is keen on lapping just about anything coming from the mainstream of Russian programming, even though in Russia itself, the alternative, on both sides, is unanimously united (in opposing at least) against the Kremlin and everything it stands for.

        As you very well know, media is not a method for acquiring information as much as it is a tool for generating a programmed consensus within an influenced segment of the population. The inconvenience that the supposed Russian influence poses to the West, is negligible compared to the harm of the premise of media itself in forming the political awareness of billions of people, led to unquestioningly assume the interests of a certain political class as representing their own. That’s why I maintain that it’s a serious mistake to view the influence that RT, Katehon, etc, on the alt-media community as a triumph of a so called Russian hybrid war offensive, as much as a product arising out of the substance of disinformation peddled by the mainstream media itself.

  2. Avatar coco chanel says:

    “That’s why I maintain that it’s a serious mistake to view the influence that RT, Katehon, etc, on the alt-media community as a triumph of a so called Russian hybrid war offensive, as much as a product arising out of the substance of disinformation peddled by the mainstream media itself.”
    I would agree with that. Apparently it is perfectly enough for Russians to use ordinary common sense as main compound of their super duper psy-hybrid media ops. As Craig Roberts often points in his sometimes devastatingly obvious deductive-logical chains of arguments, the truth and common sense becomes the most dangerous, the most subversive and most threatening thing to western media and establishment.
    The power of rt for instance, lays precisely in that that they don’t even have to try hard. To call them propaganda outlet is really hilarious as they don’t even appear to try to convince anyone in anything, at least not too hard to even call it “propaganda”. It is simply imagination and imposition in paranoia fashion to believe there is some hidden level of manipulation and mid control stemming from the screen.
    My feeling is that they are simply decently patriotic, as simply any media should normally be towards his own country, nothing more and nothing less.
    They don’t try to picture Russia as beacon or heaven of anything. They also don’t try to demonize anyone, except perhaps ISIS but that might not be really a too much of a misrepresentation. If they do such please show me examples? I don’t see it. They *represent* and *characterize* West as it objectively is, without any demonization and even without any special hostility.
    Just random, totally typical example:
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/388842-washington-post-russia-trump/
    Is this propaganda? Demonization? False reality. Don’t think so.
    They appear to honestly try to be friends with the West. Except of coiiurse duginists, pan slavists and similar. But that is not the main point, the point is their mainstream, their main narratives.
    On the contrary, West´s or USA exceptionalism and self-aggrandizement and poorly hidden imperialism are all too obvious to anyone above age of 4.
    So these things are simply incomparable, the mind-fucking hell in the western media and relatively sensible views from RT. Dugin is not visible in RT as any factor in main narratives., please show me examples if I dont see it. Are his ideas so well hidden so that they act on subliminal level from the screen?
    So, already these two things, namely, that they don´t overdo the Russia-paradise self-propaganda, while at the same time they don´t actualy try to demonize West, is enough to make a world of difference and apply for minds of remaining sane personas from all over the world.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      “That’s why I maintain that it’s a serious mistake to view the influence that RT, Katehon, etc, on the alt-media community as a triumph of a so called Russian hybrid war offensive, as much as a product arising out of the substance of disinformation peddled by the mainstream media itself.”

      Please note that I don’t use “hybrid warfare” slur. “Katehon”, which is on its way out to be replaced with Geopolitica.ru, with plethora of other Russia based websites are through and through warmongering propaganda outlet. RT is another story but part of the same media orbit. To answer the rest of your comment I’ll just note one thing, because it opens too many points for them to be dealt with a short comment. None of the media you are mentioning deals with Russia but reflects the Wests failings. This is the reason why good deal of you implicitly consider them to be “common sense” – “your kind of media”. But they are not. They are just giving you what you want to hear and I don’t really think that it has to be by design. But it is not the truth, not even by the long shot. And that’s what matters to me.
      In the future I will address these things more thoroughly. Regarding Dugin: I didn’t quote mine him, as Han Fei implies. I pointed out that he answered few of my questions, one of those being: “why all of the sudden the geopolitics became an universal explanatory model?”. Fringe or not, I think he gave the most consequent answer I can imagine.

      So, already these two things, namely, that they don´t overdo the Russia-paradise self-propaganda, while at the same time they don´t actualy try to demonize West, is enough to make a world of difference and apply for minds of remaining sane personas from all over the world.

      C’mon … that’s precisely what propaganda is. Do you honestly believe that Russia is not integrated in the global processes? Do you honestly believe that the media directed at their own citizens are promoting sanity? That all of the sudden “Petersburg set” turned into princes from Pushkin’s fairy tales?

      I don’t think so.

    • Avatar Ante says:

      Huh that’s some serious level of naivete. Russian propaganda is very real and RT is an excellent example. RT hardly reports on anything else from the west but bad news: riots, crimes, accidents, whatever they can dig out. I haven’t followed it for the last year or so but I do take a look here and there. I watched it quite intensely several years back and it was literally nothing else but “School bus crashed in US, food poisoning in UK, old lady thrown out of her house for not paying the bills in US, police brutality in UK…” over and over and over. And only news from Russia would be some generic sort of “Putin visited X town and opened a factory”. I haven’t noticed this ever changed from more recent visits.

      That RT’s job is made easy by west and in particular by western media and their own level of lunacy is not much of an excuse for not considering RT as a propaganda outlet. There’s also a good point connected to that subject made in the article, that the western analysts of this trend don’t seem to understand what is happening at all. They apparently really (or under pretense, but that would make them rather dumb) don’t see their own failings and explain the Russian success at media war with these silly complex arguments and writing books about it instead of realizing it’s really that simple: western media is horrible, people in the west are noticing, Russians are jumping in to exploit the situation and gain all the advantage they can. How on Earth could anyone expand this simple chain of reasoning into a book is beyond me.

  3. Avatar Mihai says:

    I think the crux of the matter is cause by the fact that, pretty much like in the cold war, you don’t have stable ground to stand on-either east or west- so you have to walk on the narrow edge- a thing which people usually are either incapable of or unwilling to do- or both. So many choose to go the opposite extreme. The West is terrible so let’s embrace Russia.

    I do understand what drives westerners to look towards Russia; I have to say the even I loathe the western liberal establishment far more than I do Putin’s Russia- and that is because I have witnessed the destruction that the post 1989 and subsequent westernization brought to this place- especially after 2000 and the “integration’ in the EU. I mean traditions and lifestyles that managed to survive even the communist regime, have been destroyed during this period- westernization actually finished off what remained after communism.

    But all that said and done, I simply cannot accept false leaders like Putin. Some westerners call him “the Tsar”, which clearly shows that we live in times when we have completely lost the common sense. I mean an emperor in the Byzantine tradition was anointed in Church and considered God’s representative in the earthly kingdom. As far as I am concerned, Putin was only anointed by the “almighty” KGB and is simply a more distant product of the bolshevik revolution- and nothing more.

    I do think that Branko is exaggerating when he says that Russia is “the most postmodern nation today”. I can counter-argue that there are examples that in Russian society (not at the level of their leadership, but at the level of the common man) there is still some sanity and a genuine longing for tradition and spirituality. But at the end of the day, I don’t see how in a postmodern and globalist environment you can expect that you’ll find there something different than anywhere else.
    I also completely fail to understand how some people who see deep politics, conspiracies and propaganda everywhere when it comes to Western media, take absolutely everything that Russian outlets say at face value. Coco channel’s comment is, for this reason, completely baffling for me.

    It is of course not really encouraging to contemplate that from the political point of view there is nowhere today you can look for help, but for those who have a Christian worldview this is an opportunity to test you willingness to actually walk the narrow-edge of Truth. For other religions I won’t speak.
    If you’re a nihilist- of any sort, on the other hand, any complaining about the state of affairs today- like anything else for that matter- is completely irrelevant. If there is no truth anywhere, well there is no reason to choose national-socialism over liberalism or the other way around- or to say that things should be this way instead of the other way.

  4. Avatar robber chih says:

    Thank you Mr. Malic for drawing our attention to the fact that we are surrounded by propaganda. Albeit of different sorts yet Russia (formerly USSR) and the West have spent nearly a century on developing – with enormous success – the most nuanced and sublime propaganda techniques.

    this is the modern world, post modern or whatever. It is impossible to think that, if you have a “geopolitical” opinion, if you think yourself “informed” if you dare to speak with authority on any of these oh so pressing issues (manufactured) you are in the clutches of propaganda.

    I am currently reading through the relevant work of Jaques Ellul “Propaganda” and it pretty much fits hand in glove with this podcast. Thanks Branko. There are some insights in that book which may serve to reinforce the point you are trying to make to your audience. Such as the need and complicity of the propagandee, the need of the state for propaganda, the psychological effects on the individual, etc.

    thanks for the cast as always.

    cheers

  5. Avatar coco chanel says:

    ok, one cannot always put everything in the short comment so would explain a bit what I meant. I was focusing mostly on RT and what I stated is that relatively speaking they are moderately biased and could even qualify for expected colouring of a state outlet. Of course they picture with malicous glee every black-chronic event with bus drivers or whatever, these are “low hanging fruits” that everyone does from each side.
    But there is pricniple difference, qiuialitative difference in the main message, so I think you miss or dont want to recognize what I have written as the fact that unlike west, RT does not *demonize* or even worse try to de-legitimate western or USA democraticaly elected heads.
    So, precisesly that makes a crucial differnce and main crimen of the West, they literally picture Putiun as the devil, lunatic, psychopat, putler or whatever, in all shapes and sizes. Not to speak about open fearmongering and warmongering.
    So, i oppose this view of “symetrical” guilt and they are all the same.
    Russai have all teh reasons to feel threatend, their fear is not irational, it rational fear follwoing from the fact when someone very powerfull is approaching your borders with mostly bad excuses.
    Opposite is not valid, western fear of russia is completly irrational.
    So, how this can be symetric is beyond me. West litterally cannot stand *anyone* who rises to any significant rank of power. It has absooutely nothing to do with Putin as such. It coudl be anyone who manage to rise any country to a postiion to not be purely pupet and the same kind of demonization would be generated by same mecchanisms of propaganda from the West.
    Failing to recognize that and instead imagining some sort of equilibrium of imperialism, intentional fear and war mongering is completely out of place and basically is a sort of injustice towards Russia and Putin and is in essence buying into western propaganda of demonization of Rusian leadership which could be better, could be worse, but is not equal to absolute evil and that sort of shit.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      Failing to recognize that and instead imagining some sort of equilibrium of imperialism, intentional fear and war mongering is completely out of place and basically is a sort of injustice towards Russia and Putin and is in essence buying into western propaganda of demonization of Rusian leadership which could be better, could be worse, but is not equal to absolute evil and that sort of shit.

      The whole point of this site is to bring in discernment – “the equilibrium of imperialism” is something you imagine, not me. Its not discernment but dialectics applied where there’s no dialectics – geopolitics does this and Russian Western focused media do this, only far more subtle than American. And with this you’re on the same page as an average Russian media consumer because this is what they’ve been sold onto for years. The media you are following are not directed at them but on you. However, what official or un-official Russian media are selling is propaganda by using Western dissident stance to undermine their enemy. Propaganda cannot be truth

      Mihai beat me to the point so I’ll quote him:

      I think the crux of the matter is cause by the fact that, pretty much like in the cold war, you don’t have stable ground to stand on-either east or west- so you have to walk on the narrow edge- a thing which people usually are either incapable of or unwilling to do- or both. So many choose to go the opposite extreme. The West is terrible so let’s embrace Russia. (…) It is of course not really encouraging to contemplate that from the political point of view there is nowhere today you can look for help, but for those who have a Christian worldview this is an opportunity to test you willingness to actually walk the narrow-edge of Truth. For other religions I won’t speak.

      If we’re to stick to the RT, it hosts a plethora of rag tag maniacs made look respectable because of the calculated station’s format. From Nebojša Malić to Joaquin Flores, Srđa Trifković, etc. William Engdahl is writing short essays where he compares Donald Trump to “someone” applying Sun Tzu principles and failing (wonder who that “someone” is …), etc. I don’t won’t to spend my precious time digging through the examples, you can see them for yourself.

      There’s no equilibrium because there’s no material power on the one side to reach it. But there is a complete destruction of credibility of Western alternative intellectual and media sphere, by way of co-opting it. And in this sphere, which will be growing due to an inauthenticity of the mainstream, the strong urge to re-imagine the world in one’s own image has been crucial. This is the sphere where everyone considers him an elite and everyone thinks he can reject anything that puts the block on his imagination. So the siege of Sarajevo was a false flag, Soros is behind everything, etc., etc. And then they reach deeper into past and try to re-imagine it too. I wrote about this, so I won’t go into details.

      As for me, it’s simple. I just took seriously RT byline:

      “Question more”

  6. Avatar coco chanel says:

    sorry, spellcheck on now:
    ok, one cannot always put everything in the short comment so would explain a bit what I meant. I was focusing mostly on RT and what I stated is that relatively speaking they are moderately biased and could even qualify for expected coloring of a state outlet. Of course they picture with malicious glee every black-chronic event with bus drivers or whatever, these are “low hanging fruits” that everyone does from each side.
    But there is principle difference, qualitative difference in the main message, so I think you miss or don’t want to recognize what I have written as the fact that unlike west, RT does not *demonize* or even worse try to de-legitimate western or USA democratically elected heads.
    So, precisely that makes a crucial difference and main crimen of the West, they literally picture Putin as the devil, lunatic, psychopath, putler or whatever, in all shapes and sizes. Not to speak about open fearmongering and warmongering.
    So, i oppose this view of “symmetrical” guilt and they are all the same.
    Russia have all the reasons to feel threatened, their fear is not irrational, it rational fear following from the fact when someone very powerful is approaching your borders with mostly bad excuses.
    Opposite is not valid, western fear of Russia is completely irrational.
    So, how this can be symmetric is beyond me. West literally cannot stand *anyone* who rises to any significant rank of power. It has absolutely nothing to do with Putin as such and his undemocratic outlook or whatever. It could be literally anyone who manage to rise any country to a position to not be purely puppet and the same kind of demonization would be generated by same mechanisms of propaganda from the West.
    Failing to recognize that and instead imagining some sort of equilibrium of imperialism, intentional fear and war mongering is completely out of place and basically is a sort of injustice towards Russia and Putin and is in essence buying into western propaganda of demonization of Russian leadership which could be better, could be worse, but is not equal to absolute evil and that sort of shit.

  7. Avatar Han Fei says:

    You know, why do I bother writing these lengthy comments? As a matter of fact whether Russian media narrative represents propaganda or not makes no difference. It’s because I want to draw attention to the following things.

    a) That the Western media does not involve the individual. Russian media, or at least, its English language component, on the other hand is all about the individual. In essence, as I explained, it tells people what they want to hear and gives freedom to voice opinions (some of which happen to just be self evident observations of reality) which are officially suppressed. Keep in mind that the reason why Westerners tend to be so open to that narrative is because in many American minds, the liberal establishment is a greater threat to their way of life and political ideals than the trumped up (hah) threat of foreign aggression.

    b) Foreign perceptions of Russia are sadly muddled by lack of understanding of the Russophonic information sphere. That’s why they tend to confuse the perspective of the kremlyad and “effective salesmen pitch” with actual issues and motives at the locus of contention in Russian society. The elite can’t rule in a bubble, it has to take into account the opinion of the masses, which I surmise, partly drives Putin’s recent decisions. However on the other hand, the motives of pro Russian alt-media consumers are not too dissimilar. They don’t care about what’s going on in Russia. The issues which concern them are unfolding in their own home countries.

    c) There’s a disgusting smear campaign directed at the American president right now conducted by the MSM on behest of the deep state. The DS hates Putin because he threw a wrench in their little game in the Syria-Iraq region, among other things. Think about it. What threat, or even contention does Russia pose to the national security interests of either US or Europe? It doesn’t, and everyone with half a brain cell understands this. The elites however want us to think that way, because it justifies the goal to either coerce Russia into accepting a globalist monetary/economic system (which to be fair, Putin keeps in place for the most part) or provide grounds to the public consciousness in the lead up to a new global conflict.

    d) In America, we observe racial and political divides tipped to their boiling point to a never before seen degree since the Civil War. The media in chorus talks of nothing but the “Russian election meddling” story, which eerily echoes the prelude of a military conflict that we’ve seen before so many times. It doesn’t even matter whether or not Russia meddled in the US election or not. As a matter of fact, it would be dangerous to the establishment if it were proven beyond doubt that this was in fact the case, because that would open inquiries into other foreign states’ undue influence in American affairs. The desired goal is to drill the notion of Russia as an existential enemy in an almost Manichean sense. The trailer for an upcoming blockbuster sequel to a movie series we have watched many times.

    Therefore Mr. Malic I can’t simply let it slide when you largely select from neocon sources and Western establishment think tanks whose motive is hardly to accurately assess the degree of disinformation that Russia media puts forth, as much as to sell a narrative of Russia as a mortal enemy of established order to be slated for destruction. If I were a resident of the Balkans, given the painful historical precedents, my concern over the influence that Russia media has over the peoples of that region would be hardly unjustified. However the proverbial elephant tolling the last bell which is to herald incontrovertible consequences for the world, doesn’t appear likely to be Russia right now.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      As always much to agree and detail or two where I disagree, but that’s where the devil burrows in my opinion. Your juxtaposition of RT and Western MSM on the grounds of RT promoting individual against the ideological robots from CNN et al is dead accurate. And that’s precisely my point. I think this was, at least initially, by design and probably to a great extent on advice from the Western PR experts working in Russia in the early to mid Naughties – people like Pomerantsev in fact. And this brings me to another, seemingly minor, disagreement. I don’t “largely select from neocon sources”, I just use few statements as a springboard to both show theirs and Russia’s muddling of waters. Call me a hopeless individualist but in fact everything comes from my own medium sized head. I rely on the principle that no one can tell total lie and that enemies tend to fairly well describe each other, or themselves, at the moment they try to muddle the waters. I caught Pomerantsev red handed regarding his motives at the beginning of his talk I quoted in the video. As for Balkan, I’ll have to be short because it is a story in itself, but the biggest buddy of Russia in ex-Yugoslavia space is Slovenia (the Westernmost nation) on the grounds of intelligence services/corrupt business ties from Cold War era, then Croatia who is petted by Russians like a precious little kitten in spite of shameless behavior of ruling EU/NATO administrators. Serbia is being manipulated in the most tasteless fashion, something Dugin excels in. The others go to and fro in the eyes of Kremlin, because of shifting political grounds and ethnic instability. This is precisely the opposite of the image most Russian analysts/propagandists like Engdahl, Korybko et al project into cyberspace. And its fairly consequent, because these dupes/conscious collaborators of Russian state (or someone else) are giving fun and games of “geopolitical analysis” to “thinking people”, while real politics is something either completely different or downright diametrically opposed to what they’re saying. I’m vocal about Engdahl because he should have known better and because he’s a decent man. Now I’m reading jerks that are not to his knees in intelligence and integrity deriding him with full right. But, that was his choice.

      And finally, to all reading this, do you think that I am a robot who doesn’t suffer from the same pain of dissolving world like all the rest? Yet does this suffering justify me to overdose on stupid pills and fall for “question more!” dictum from the oligarchy backed media which expertly gives me what my heart aches for? I think not. I took some in the past like most of us, but am now safely back on beer of domestic variety.

      I had a long mission statement in the About section of Kali Tribune, explaining in detail what I see as the focus of this site. Now I have changed it to simple: “Kali Tribune deals with difficult problems”. And this problem is indeed difficult in the context where I operate, addressing mostly people who are not buying into mainstream. I’m not sure about anything, but what I intuit in some neglected corner of our time, I try to drag into the light and stumble a hundred times in the process. Yet I think that’s how you get to the truth to an extent human being is able to. Dive deep and then quickly hit the surface with what you managed to grab. It can be scrap, but it can also be a pearl. And pearls don’t float on the surface. So I leave it to the meme magicians and alt mainstream echo chambers dwellers.

      What can I tell you? I was never good at irony, so when someone tells me to “question more”, I cannot help but to oblige, only without a smirk.

  8. Avatar coco chanel says:

    If you let me just few more remarks, for instance:
    “As a matter of fact whether Russian media narrative represents propaganda or not makes no difference. ”
    I think it is still important to stay a bit more on this point/claim as it can often be heard from different sides, both the ones that are “awaken” to alt media/realities and those who are fast asleep in Disneyland of CNN & Co.
    Hence, I believe still it is important to understand that strictly speaking RT is not a propaganda outlet and that it is not a matter of naivety but matter of putting things in right perspective.
    Things become clearer if we ask basic question: what function RT carries? Everyone would say – it´s too easy, of course Russians wanted to have their propaganda outlet in the west.
    But such thing as “Russian propaganda in the west” is in fact impossibility. What would be purpose of nationalistic propaganda in other countries? Only a fool would think it is possible to have a “Croatian propaganda outlet in Serbia”. That woudl be a nonsense. Why is then not nonsense to think of “Russian propaganda” in the middle of land of hamburgers and Kentucky Fries?
    Perhaps if they would want to advertise Vodka it would make sense to have Russian propaganda in Texas, but otherwise, outside of economic “branding” of Russia, what is the point of anyone´s nationalistic propaganda on forign ground? Of course there are special cases of war propaganda etc. but these special cases has to be kept distinct of the meritum.
    The point is, MSM propaganda as such, as a concept, should be related to something else.
    For instance Hollywood *is* propaganda outlet, CNN and others are propaganda outlets because their main purpose is something entirely different than the purpose of RT.
    Their purpose is to *saturate* the minds with certain messages, narratives etc. so that they become adopted, internalized, integrated in the minds of the masses. So if we talk about propaganda in Mass Media context, than we should be clear what we are talking about – I would say precisely that- we are talking about operations to shape, educate, saturate etc, minds and harts of a targeted groups.
    So we are not talking about * underground* operations of special warfare etc. these are different kinds of propaganda or there are some other terms for specialists who use exact terms.
    For our purposes it´s enough we agree that mass media propaganda means that kind of influence on masses.
    So now becomes, I hope, obvious why RT cannot be a propaganda machine. Simply because there is completely out of question that due to pure lack of scale – they are one and others are many, they are *handicapped* by that they are Russian outlet and so on – so all that prevents them to fulfill any sort of saturation of the masses in the west.
    So, if they cannot fulfil the main purpose of all other western media with counter- saturation of minds, then what they are and what they do?
    Here comes the main point – the sole purpose of RT is not propaganda- as we saw they are simply too insignificant to manage that, at least in the West-
    but the main purpose of RT is simply:
    to break the Monopoly on information.
    And only that gives us the meritum of things. So that´s the whole point, they don’t win the “propaganda war” with pouring poisonous fake news into the minds of the poor, helpless westerners which have to be protected from such evil.
    No, RT functions as a needle functions towards the bubble. Needle simply bursts the uniform and monolithic surface, and bubble collapses.
    So, basically, that is why it is misunderstanding to consider RT in terms of propaganda in strict MSM terms.
    They simply provide another point of reference, it´s Russian point of reference, with Russian bias, even with Russain agenda etc, – so what? That´s totally irrelevant, there is no such thing as “independent” mass media anyway, so why would we expect that from Russian one?
    So they beat West MSM precisely by their own weapon, namely, they simple provide *truly* alternative point of view, which they claim is anyone free to do under free speech and bla bla.
    So, it is a pure victory, a pure win by RT, they may say, ok, you want free speech, so here is some free speech for you, suckers. Some trully alternative views etc.
    And these freedom lovers in teh West get nuts about that handfull of dissonance???
    Is there a better way imaginable to say that the King has no clothes? Probably we didnt see such impecable toush on global sccene for a long.
    Hence, dismissing this impeccable achievement with notion of “Russian propaganda” simply does not do the justice, not because of Russia and Russians, but because of the meritum and the clear understanding of what matters.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      “But such thing as “Russian propaganda in the west” is in fact impossibility. What would be purpose of nationalistic propaganda in other countries? Only a fool would think it is possible to have a “Croatian propaganda outlet in Serbia”. That woudl be a nonsense. Why is then not nonsense to think of “Russian propaganda” in the middle of land of hamburgers and Kentucky Fries?”

      Ha, ha, ha. Oprosti, nemam što dodati.

      • Avatar Han Fei says:

        I think cocochannel has a point. If we look at what forms the majority of the people’s conscious outlook on life, a sort of filter through which we view the world, we won’t find news sites or political outlets. It’s film, music, art, video games. Even when people do turn to politics, they typically get their viewpoints from entertainers such as Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, Bill Maher, John Oliver. Genuine propaganda doesn’t “work” on the conscious brain, instead it affects the person’s core beliefs and value sentiments. There has been an extensive amount of research in the field of behavioral psychology concerning methods to manipulate these factors, the science of advertising is the most evident product of it.

        That is why I spoke earlier of the “Manichean mindset” common in many Westerners. This is not a natural thing, but the result of Hollywood culture which promotes a typical comic book conception of reality. You yourself pointed this out in your analysis of Star Wars movies. This is obviously not coincidental, but in fact serves quite a purpose – to instill in the public moral values, identifications, and alignments which in a great part determine their rational thinking processes in which they interpret information. To a certain extent, was always the case throughout human history, but in the past this modulation was enacted by religion and traditional institutions. Nowadays, when the sacral link with the upper dimensions has been decisively severed, we are observing influences from below, subconscious levers pulling at willful human imagination. This is a metahistorical process that is likely independent of the occult activities of the global elite and is thus outside the scope of the political discussion we are having.

        In order to genuinely speak of a complete Russian information paradigm, there needs to be a convincing Russian Hollywood, a Russian gaming industry, a Russian music industry, authentic Russian art and literary scene broadcasting all across the planet. None of these things exist in Russia (as opposed to say Japan, where all of these things are produced in abundance, and which they employ masterfully in enacting its global influence). If anything it’s the other way around, with Russia being a passive consumer of corporate postmodernist culture promoted by the Western entertainment industry.

        • Avatar coco chanel says:

          I didn´t use the word but on another level all this could be understood in terms of cognition and “cognitive dissonance”.
          If there is any criteria of how much “seeker for truth” is true to himself, it is the way he or she deals with cognitive dissonance. Only cognitive dissonance can open new routs of understanding.
          If one obeys to an almost automatic reactions to shut it down- there are several typical responses that our minds tend to retreat to protect its narrative, world view or anything else it takes for granted- then opportunity is lost. That is valid on the individual level and on masses.
          So, in these terms, we can say RT functions as a means to causing cognitive dissonance in the minds of the Westerners against the “backdrop”.
          The problem is – people hate cognitive dissonance, they want to shut it down.
          The point therefore about rt is that they do not wish to saturate the minds with their content as normally any propaganda mass media outlet do in their own country, because they are simply not able to do that because they are too small.
          What they primarily do is causing cognitive dissonance, and causing cognitive dissonance does not mean it is true or lie, it is primarily simply phenomenon of confronting the different view.
          As they present a great deal of truth, they act as a mirror in which west can see itself. And they don´t like what they see and then they scream “propaganda” and try to “protect” from it. Not because of propaganda part , but because of truth part.
          It has to be said that of course a certain amount of “friction” and dissonance is always kept alive in any propaganda system, that is to create dynamics and illusion of different views etc. The problem is when there is someone who creates that and is not fully controlled.
          What we have to seek primarily in news outlets is not some absolute truths, but simply information that represent different angle or perspective to same phenomena and rt primarily does that. If I recognize that, am I duped by their propaganda? Not necessarily, I might simply be interested in the different view or more complete information.

        • Avatar Malić says:

          That is why I spoke earlier of the “Manichean mindset” common in many Westerners. This is not a natural thing, but the result of Hollywood culture which promotes a typical comic book conception of reality.

          This is exactly what I see as something pro-Russian outlets are playing upon. Perhaps they don’t need Hollywood, because it already did the legwork for them.

        • Avatar Ante says:

          So Russian propaganda isn’t a propaganda because it’s not as far reaching and omnipresent as western one? Reminds me of a conversation I had long ago with a girl who claimed that North Korea is a fine country because it wasn’t the one invading Iraq.

          Also, Russian gaming industry certainly exists and is even quite strong. Russian film industry is definitely a thing, even if it can’t compare to Hollywood in popularity. All these things are being done by Russia, that they are not as widely successful in most of the fields mentioned doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it. Whole world is English speaking after all, so they are working with a handicap there already. But they still are doing quite well, at the very least they are exploiting the Manichean mindset you are talking about since the very people in the West who see things in black and white absolutes can just as easily invert the picture and see Russia as the traditional, moral, christian good guy and the West as Satan. That Russia is a big krokodil and vodka ridden abortion clinic doesn’t seem to bother them.

          There was a similar situation during the Cold War, wasn’t there? America had Hollywood, jeans and popular music, yet USSR still conducted it’s fair deal of work in recruiting sympathizers in the west. They could never hope to directly affect the broad masses at that time either, but they still found a good number of “govnoedi” or whatever they called them and made use of them as they could.

  9. Avatar coco chanel says:

    One more point, just to make it fully clear what I try to say,
    so ultimately why I think it is unapropriate to name RT propaganda outlet?
    Because, the main effect they cause could be acieved also by e.g. some show on existing CNN-like media. For instance, if some host would have an interview regularly on these matters that usually cause controversy, and he simply tells his mind.
    Can we say he does propaganda? or he simply tells his mind?
    So, they function on that level, it is completely irrelevant that it is russina “state owned” media, as long as they main tool is not saturation of minds but causing stirr and cognitive disonance by opposing views.
    As sidenote, it also explains point from Han Fei regardign focus on individual opinions. Yes, exactly, it is about presenting individual opinions, not ready-made state propaganda, that is exactly the whole point.
    We can compalin that they dont represent “equal” measure of pro-liberal individuals maybe, but why would they, they overrepresented all over the media space anyway, i.e. they are the default.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      I cannot help but notice that all this, frankly quite astonishing, circling around the simple fact of pro-Russian media being propaganda is a case of cognitive dissonance. I’m sorry for not introducing elaborate examples to the contrary of Russia not having Hollywood simply because it will become tiresome. Suffice it to say they had Potemkin’s villages when you could still shoot an occasional buffalo where Hollywood now stands. On the other hand, the first election of Putin was to a large extent framed upon a popular, KGB funded, series from the Seventies about NKVD spy working undercover in Germany – something that was a but of a joke in Russian media at the time and is openly admitted by then top political technologist Gleb Pavlovsky. There are plethora of examples, not to mention bad war movies, prime time TV shows proving that Moscow is in fact Jerusalem, or father Tikhon hosting documentary on Byzantium which clearly explains how Tzars (presidents) screwed up the moment they lost central power over pronoiari (oligarchs). I’ll skip also David Icke level prime time TV shows portraying the holly land under the siege of the Illuminati led West.

      If you want to judge the country by its media, the Russia is below the level of Soviet Union, or, better to say, above it in quite a sinister way: as postmodern is above the modern.

      A friend from alt media, who built a respectable media platform, told me that he works with the RT because it reminds him how Western media once used to be. I said, I understand but haven’t had the heart to tell him what I felt. I knew, namely, that this is quite akin to a usual junkie excuse: I only shoot dope on weekends. Now I see he’s been publishing articles praising the arcadia-like, defiant North Korea and his close collaborators calling those who point out this bullshit “Stratfor trolls”. Everybody collaborating with Russian media got his reputation irrevocably ruined by now, only they, as well as their consumers, do not see this yet. But it will probably dawn on them, although it’s already too late.

  10. Avatar coco chanel says:

    Oh, but it´s not really that I even for a second doubt that they have propaganda capabilities beyond our imagination. What I am saying is in today´s post-cold war era the context is different.
    In soviet times the task of prop was strictly related to some international project, namely spread of certain global working-class ideology etc.
    Such propaganda, which tries to sell a certain global project of course makes sense on foreign soil and was very real.
    Today we have one, namely, liberal global project and it´s being sold across the globe via prop, mass media, Hollywood, videogames, “famous” writers and show makers etc. etc.
    But today, Russia is only Russia – more or less. That some want to make it something more or bigger, that´s another matter.
    So, in “golden age” of opposing cold-war blocks propaganda, there were two main projects competing and of course both used all possible means of propaganda.
    But now, as I see it, the context requires different evaluation of what is happening.
    What I don’t agree is basically the implication that, when someone says RT -America is Russian propaganda – the implication is it is soviet era like kind of project but only in new clothes.
    In that way we get resurrected well known world-view and everything comes to its well-known place, and we don´t get duped and the world makes (tragic) sense as it ones had.
    And that´s precisely what we see now is resurrecting in all the hype about Trump connections and all the hysteria, which is only culmination of continual demonization over the years etc. etc.
    So, the question is, do we believe Russia is currently run by the soviet-era like drive, is it really what Putin and today´s Russia is about?
    If it is, then everything is fine, we get the repetition of the history, west has to protect itself from the crazy Russian project etc. etc.
    Than everything is justified and it´s all about propaganda.
    So obviously, question about Russian propaganda defaults on the question about global Russian project, is there one and what´s his nature.
    But I think this is simply not true, until now, in the post-soviet era there was no Russian global project. To make Russia stronger and more powerful, yes, but that was primarily limited to nationalistic kind of project which we typically see in other countries, eg. Hungary etc.
    The paradox is – since soviet era they essentially want to be part of western establishment, they want to be regarded as equal and accepted etc. but they get rejected and demonized and ultimately disillusioned.
    So the crucial question is: what is basically object of their alleged propaganda?
    So we have two possible answers:
    a) they don´t want to be doormat of the West- basically want to assert themselves and make the case which shows how everyone who is not a doormat is treated by the West.
    By that they become voice of all those who are not too happy with dominant world power and its rules of the game

    b) they want to rule the world and they only pretend to get people duped to believe in a)

    So far I see more consistency in a)
    Putin and his mates actually serve as barrier to radicals in their own country. But if West continues to treat them the way they did last years, the rise of radicals will ultimately be *provoked*. And here Dugin and the like see his opportunity.

    I understand your current effort is to prove that the b) is the case, so basically I am open to see all the arguments. So far I don´t think it is main stream power behind Russian politics.

    So, if the a) is truth, then it means RT in greater measure is simply an outlet which voices all that which makes people not so happy with the main world bully and its ideology. That means it is authentic in certain sense and not strictly related to a imperialistic project. That authenticity of their position makes them fundamentally different comparing to liberal media who are fully defined by their being a tool for the global project and by that pure tool of propaganda.
    So – I must be hopelessly duped.. 🙂

    • Avatar Malić says:

      “Today we have one, namely, liberal global project and it´s being sold across the globe via prop, mass media, Hollywood, videogames, “famous” writers and show makers etc. etc.”

      No. There are many globalist projects.

      “In soviet times the task of prop was strictly related to some international project, namely spread of certain global working-class ideology etc.
      Such propaganda, which tries to sell a certain global project of course makes sense on foreign soil and was very real.”

      Propaganda amongst the enemy is the holly grail of propaganda.

      “But today, Russia is only Russia – more or less. That some want to make it something more or bigger, that´s another matter.”

      That is not another matter. Imperial ideology of some sort is prevalent. Dugin’s is the most extreme example, but just a tip of the iceberg nonetheless.

      “What I don’t agree is basically the implication that, when someone says RT -America is Russian propaganda – the implication is it is soviet era like kind of project but only in new clothes.”

      This is not implied at all. At least not by me.

      So, the question is, do we believe Russia is currently run by the soviet-era like drive, is it really what Putin and today´s Russia is about?
      If it is, then everything is fine, we get the repetition of the history, west has to protect itself from the crazy Russian project etc. etc.

      Either – or? Well, no, its not either – or. It can be a lot of different things. Either-ors apply in the media images, not in historical reality.

      So, the question is, do we believe Russia is currently run by the soviet-era like drive, is it really what Putin and today´s Russia is about?

      It is for neo-cons, not for me. The postmodern Russian globalist ideas are very well adjusted to our times and are in ideological sense more radical than “permanent revolution” of Trotsky. Interestingly enough, they seem to go hand in glove with “clash of civilizations” idea.

      So obviously, question about Russian propaganda defaults on the question about global Russian project, is there one and what´s his nature.

      No it doesn’t. And Russia has at least one semi-formally accepted globalist project anyway. Just read previous article on KT.

      To make Russia stronger and more powerful, yes, but that was primarily limited to nationalistic kind of project which we typically see in other countries, eg. Hungary etc

      So Russia is entitled to be “a regional state”, as Paul Wolfowitz had put it, which in effect means that you can enjoy your life in Ukraina until you get fed up with Kremlin’s puppet president? Then it’s still a propaganda, only spending a lot on small stakes. But I suspect that grander ideas are involved here.

      I understand your current effort is to prove that the b) is the case, so basically I am open to see all the arguments. So far I don´t think it is main stream power behind Russian politics.

      I’m not proving that at all. I’m telling people that they’re being duped by propaganda. Part of being duped is thinking in absolutes about things that are not absolute, among other things. I suspect more is afoot – after all, likes of Dugin and Panarin are important ideologists and they do advocate inevitable clash of civilizations and the necessity of info war in a struggle of global domination – but not trying to prove it here. I think they’ll prove it for me in due time.

      That means it is authentic in certain sense and not strictly related to a imperialistic project. That authenticity of their position makes them fundamentally different comparing to liberal media who are fully defined by their being a tool for the global project and by that pure tool of propaganda.

      Russia changed several, mutually exclusive, political forms and projected them upon its own citizens via media. Now its doing the same thing to the Westerners probably for largely internal reasons. Yet the reality is that it is an oligarchy which presents foreigners with anti-oligarchical media outlets. You can call this authentic if you like. I’ll call it funny to an extent when it goes overboard into absurdity and nausea. On the other hand, Russia became a beacon for all kind of fringe movements in the West – from the alt right to radical left, to the point that confusion is such that no clear delineations can be discerned. Alt media are practically destroyed as a cohesive platform precisely because of this. And this, I fear, was no accident.

      So – I must be hopelessly duped..

      I don’t believe in hopelessness.

    • Avatar Ante says:

      I think the Soviet era became a topic because of me, I was however responding to this:

      ‘But such thing as “Russian propaganda in the west” is in fact impossibility. What would be purpose of nationalistic propaganda in other countries? Only a fool would think it is possible to have a “Croatian propaganda outlet in Serbia”. That woudl be a nonsense. Why is then not nonsense to think of “Russian propaganda” in the middle of land of hamburgers and Kentucky Fries?’

      Soviet era is an example of how once not so long ago Russia already had certain propaganda efforts aimed at the West, even US in particular. It’s not an impossibility at all and it doesn’t have to be aimed at every hamburger munching average Joe. Sometimes you aim at the masses, sometimes at individuals, sometimes at a particular social class. It’s still propaganda.

      You also seem to have firmly decided that propaganda is (among other things, you apparently have rather multifaceted definition of it in order to make sure Russia remains incapable of conducting propaganda :P) necessarily a positive effort, so Russian propaganda would consist of claims and attempts of convincing that Russia is the best which would then be absurd like Croatian propaganda telling Serbs that Croatia is the best. But this doesn’t have to be the case, propaganda is a tool that can be used in many ways. In jargon of alt right, Russian propaganda is currently mostly doing the “black pilling” of westerners – at least in direct sense, indirectly and predictably in response to this many westerners created this image of Russia as the great deliverer who will save them from the horrors around them. And as we already concluded and I’m sure you agree, this is by no means hard given how horribly messed up the West is. But being opposed to someone who’s bad doesn’t make one good and this is exactly the error that so many people are making when considering Russia.

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