Collaboration between the Kremlin and state broadcasters dates again greater than 20 years, mentioned Mr. Gatov, a former Russian journalist and an skilled on state propaganda. Every day, the Kremlin gives an inventory of speaking factors for broadcasters. The intently guarded doc, referred to as the “temnik,” is delivered to senior officers at V.G.T.R.Okay. and different organizations, outlining points the Kremlin needs coated, positively or negatively, together with views to endorse and folks to criticize, mentioned Mr. Gatov, who has seen copies.
The Kremlin’s tight management of the media has elevated for the reason that invasion of Ukraine, however folks’s belief in what they’re watching is falling the longer the battle goes on and its violent realities turn into more durable to cover, mentioned Vera Tolz, a professor on the College of Manchester who has studied Russian media for the British Parliament and European Union. “There are cracks,” she mentioned.
Within the early days of the battle, what was not explicitly outlined in Kremlin orders was left to tv producers to fill in.
The USA was a frequent goal, in response to the paperwork. Every day, emails circulated with lengthy lists of stories clips and viral posts that served as a palette to color a darkening image of the US.
In early February, weeks earlier than the invasion of Ukraine, producers flagged a clip of President Biden declining to reply questions on sending troops to Poland, bolstering the concept that America was longing for a battle. A New York Occasions story about Ukraine’s aggressive data battle in opposition to Russia was additionally recast as proof of the nation’s dishonesty. One other, pulled from Britain’s Each day Mail, confirmed Mr. Biden selecting his enamel.
Because the battle dragged on, producers sought clips in regards to the fallout in the US. One got here from a neighborhood information program in northern Alabama about stickers being positioned on gasoline pumps that confirmed Mr. Biden saying, “I did that.” One other video, exhibiting a U.S. grocery retailer emptied of meals, got here from a viral Telegram submit. It appeared to encourage a broadcast quickly after titled, “Oil shock and empty cabinets: Trump’s grim prophecy is coming true.”
In March, Denis Davydov, a V.G.T.R.Okay. reporter in Washington, flagged a seven-year-old YouTube submit, gaining newfound reputation, that claimed that the US and NATO had fueled Russia’s hostility towards Ukraine.