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Russia’s Social Media vs. the Kremlin’s Domestic Information War

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To Inform is to Influence

Andreas Umland

The West has only recently started to understand how deeply public opinion in the Russian Federation has become infected with rabidly anti-Western conspiratorial and Manichean worldviews. During the last fifteen years, Russia’s citizens have been exposed to relentless demonization of the Western world, purposeful instigation of hatred towards the United States, and heavily manipulated foreign affairs reporting in Kremlin-controlled mass media. Thousands of cynical politicians, corrupt journalists, irresponsible showmen, and bizarre pseudo-experts are telling the Russian people, day after day, how immoral, degraded and dangerous Western civilization and, above all, the United States are.

 As a result, the majority of Russians now believe that the West is after them. Russia’s territory, natural resources, civilization and very existence are, according to a widespread belief, under deadly threat from Washington as well as its underlings in Europe and elsewhere. Given Russia’s large (and modernizing) nuclear arsenal, this phenomenon is…

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