NewsUkraine war: Russian state television suddenly broadcasts open criticism...

Ukraine war: Russian state television suddenly broadcasts open criticism of Putin

Created: 09/14/2022 1:02 p.m

Wladimir Putin
Local politicians are calling for the resignation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Uncredited/POOL TASS Host Photo Agency/AP/dpa

Suddenly broadcasters criticize Putin’s war against Ukraine. How is that possible? Because normally the state television broadcasts Kremlin propaganda.

Moscow – Criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin? None! Usually. The state television shows propaganda on the most important channels Channel 1 , Russia 1 and NTV , namely exactly what the population should hear. Apparently, Adolf Hitler was Chancellor Scholz’s role model:

“He just wants to be like his moustached idol,” claims top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. Or the classic: This is not a war of aggression against Ukraine, but a military operation. In addition, the country is full of Nazis and must be liberated. It should be obvious that this is fake news.

News about the Ukraine war: State television criticizes Vladimir Putin

But since the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from the Kharkiv region at the latest, criticism of Putin has increased. For example, Boris Nadezhdin, a former Duma deputy, said on TV: “We are now at a point where we have to understand: it is absolutely impossible to win against Ukraine”. The Ukrainian army would be economically and technologically supported by the most powerful western countries.

“The people who convinced President Putin that the special operation would be quick and effective, that we wouldn’t target civilians… those people really tricked us all,” he continues. Also striking: the word war is mentioned surprisingly often in the show.

News about the Ukraine war: Man admits on Russian state television that his death was staged

Vitaly Gura, deputy head of the Nova Kakhovska city administration, even openly admitted on Russian state television that his supposed death was staged. “At the beginning of August, the security organs came to me and said that an attack on me was being prepared,” Gura said. Then he went into hiding. How is that possible? People who express themselves critically are threatened with imprisonment and danger such as life and limb.

Christian Mihr, Managing Director of the human rights organization Reporters Without Borders, is following developments very closely, as he has lived in Russia himself. “In Russian social media, especially Telegram, you can see that there are definitely critical discussions,” says Christian Mihr. This shows that there is at least some dissatisfaction with the war. Mihr considers criticism on state television to be isolated cases, which are also controlled by the Kremlin.

Russian state media: “There is no such thing as journalistic independence”

“It’s an attempt to take it up, to allow it. There is no such thing as journalistic independence,” says Mihr. It is not the case that the Russian media discusses the war critically. “In some programs this happens, but at the same time it is cushioned again by the usual Kremlin propaganda being addressed,” says the managing director of the organization

Independent media, in particular, were threatened with consequences. “But these are now largely abroad, in exile, and only a few journalists are still on site,” explains Mihr. Just last week there were raids, house searches and arrests. He does not anticipate that these individual broadcasts will affect popular support for Russia’s war on Ukraine or support for Putin.

Ukraine war news: Honest support for Kremlin government and Putin

“Despite rigged polls, there is still genuine support for the government’s course. This is based on personal conversations I had,” says Mihr. Individual, albeit staged programs would not bring about change. “I’m hopeful that the use of Tor and VPN access is increasing. Even that won’t change the world, but we’ve seen a slight increase in demand,” says the executive director of Reporters Without Borders. (Moritz Serif)

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