Sadly, the Russian people are hopelessly lied to by their media. So much so that many Russian people are not even aware of how propagandized they really are. When the media is so omnipresent, when a single narrative is repeated so incessantly and for so long, it’s hard for people to realize they are living in an artificially constructed consciousness bubble. People so utterly misinformed are easily manipulated.
Russian media will never show the Russian people the corpses of children blown up by Russian artillery. Not only that, Russian media has spent the last eight years propagandizing the Russian people by showing only the corpses of children in the Donbas region of Ukraine who were killed by the Ukrainian government and the paramilitary groups they allow to function. They fill the eyes of their audience only with images of the bodies burned to death by pro-government factions in Odessa following the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine. They fill their audience’s ears only with the audio of U.S. deep state agent Victoria Nuland openly discussing who they will select as the next president of Ukraine. And they fill their minds only with the fear of the advanced missile systems NATO is placing on the borders of their country.
Russia media shows Ukrainian neo-Nazis openly discussing their violent ideologies and saying how killing people is fun, while sneering at Western values and mocking homosexuals. Meanwhile, they ignore the problems Russia has with homophobia and nationalism.
Russian media does not show their people the acts of violence perpetrated by Russian soldiers. Instead, it shows images and videos of people being tied to lamp posts and beaten by Ukrainians. They show how Roma and other non-Ukrainian people have their faces painted green and their pants removed as they are wrapped to telephone poles with cellophane.
Russian media does not show the brutality Russian soldiers engage in against surrendered Ukrainian soldiers. Why would they? It does not suit their propaganda purposes. Instead, it shows Ukrainians shooting captured Russian soldiers in the leg, then beating them as they bleed to death.
Russian media does not show how Ukrainian prisoners are being used as propaganda pawns by Russia. It only shows how Ukrainian soldiers send images of the corpses of Russian soldiers to the soldiers’ families in Russia.
Russian media does not show the cheering mobs greeting the Ukrainian military, it only shows the people greeting the Russians as liberators. It never interviews Ukrainians saying how angry they are to have been overrun by the Russian army, it only talks to those who say how glad they are to have been liberated.
The Russian media have no interest in telling their people how they are killing Ukrainians. Instead, they tell them about how many people have died in Afghanistan and how many Afghani people are still dying because of U.S. sanctions. They don’t mention how Russian arms manufacturers are profiting off war, instead they tell their people about how the U.S. is selling weapons to Saudi Arabia that are being used in a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in Yemen. Instead of showing the bombs exploding in Ukraine, it shows the bombardment of Gaza by Israel and asks why the U.S. never condemns this sort of action from their ally.
Turn on Russian media and you will see the ruins of cities in Libya, Iraq and Syria. For some reason, they’re more than willing to discuss the egregious crimes of the United States, while on the crimes of their own government they remain silent. They show pictures of hooded and stripped Iraqi prisoners being abused by U.S. soldiers while ignoring the mote in the eye of Russia.
In the four years when the U.S. media was breaking story after story about Russia’s involvement in electing Donald Trump, Russian media never once probed deeply into the allegations of a pee tape video and instead only mentioned it when referring to some of the less-substantiated allegations such as Russia using spy dolphins, spy beluga whales, and Pokemon Go!.
It is hard to blame the Russian people themselves. They are, after all, subjected to a degree of sophisticated propaganda unimagined by people of previous generations. It is hard for people who have not only not been given the proper facts but also have been deluged with an erroneous worldview to have a nuanced and well-rounded view of world events. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the lies they are fed become so odious, the narrative they are told to believe so absurd, that they might awaken from their dreamworld and see things as they truly are.
Here’s hoping that the people of Russia demand more of their media, so that in the future they might have access to quality programming and in-depth reporting we now enjoy in the United States.