Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Putin's New Weapon In The Ukraine Propaganda War: Internet Trolls

Paul Robert Gregory, Forbes

The internet troll army’s selling of the Kremlin’s parallel universe to the Russian people and to a skeptical Western audience is a matter of life and death for the Putin regime. If the Russian people do not buy their story, Putin loses the high “ratings” on which his regime rests. If he cannot convince his Western audience, Europe and the United States will take actions that spoil his Novorossiya ventures and threaten his regime. Trolling is a high stakes business that Putin takes seriously and the West must not underestimate.

Germany’s Angela Merkel described Russian President Vladimir Putin, after a phone conversation, as “living in another world.” Like Merkel, we, who write on Russia’s War on Ukraine, have all had our rude introduction to Putin’s “other world.” In his parallel universe, the aggressor is the victim, strangers appoint themselves “premiers” of non-existent “republics,” hundreds of soldiers mysteriously perish in border exercises or “on vacation,” a certified nationally elected government is a “neo-Nazi junta,” and hundreds of tanks and heavy weapons crossing borders are optical illusions.

Putin’s trolls describe the Kremlin’s other world

Putin’s Alice-in-Wonderland can be wacky, mind boggling, irritating, disgusting, cynical, and incorrigible, but underlying it is a sinister narrative of an alternate reality, cleverly designed to promote Putin’s goals and head off effective Western actions.

(More here.)

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