Saturday, August 23, 2014

Russia Ramps Up Information War in Europe

Image Battered by Conflict in Ukraine, Russia Pushes to Rebuild and Expand Soviet-Era Foreign State Media

By Anton Troianovski, WSJ
Aug. 21, 2014 10:37 p.m. ET

BERLIN—Dmitry Tulchinskiy, bureau chief here of Russian state news agency Rossiya Segodnya, shares a quiet hallway with a travel company and a chess club.

By next year, that office could get cramped. The agency's Berlin staff is supposed to grow from two to at least 30. Its job, according to a directive signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, will be to "illuminate abroad the state policies" of the Russian Federation.

"What is propaganda? Propaganda is the tendentious presentation of facts," Mr. Tulchinskiy said in an interview. "It does not mean lying."

With its image battered by the conflict in Ukraine, Russia is accelerating its push to rebuild, modernize and expand its Soviet-era foreign media apparatus. One country of focus is Germany, the European economic powerhouse that has both close ties to Russia and rising public resentment of the U.S. On Thursday, the scope of the ambitions emerged further, when the government publicly moved toward adopting a $39 million budget increase for pro-Kremlin news channel RT to fund its expansion into French.

(More here.)

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