The leader of the world’s largest country — one exceedingly rich in natural resources — has created an image of himself as a man who is incapable only of raising the dead.
Putin is moving borders and redrawing the map of Europe. He is shaping the results of elections in other powerful countries and stands up for other weaker dictatorships which are being tamed by the democratic world. He is tightening the gas pipeline noose around the European continent so that it will speak out as little as possible and not interfere in the construction of Russia’s glorious future.
After all, supposedly it has never before been so good in Russia; not during the Tsar or under the Bolsheviks. Now, it is about to be even better and all you need to do is wait and turn on the TV.
Television will weave a story about how rich America is falling apart and liberal Europe is falling into chaos. It will even show countries where executions are carried out on the streets and states in which food and water are lacking on a daily basis. There is no doubt, according to propaganda, that Russia is a true oasis of freedom, values and prosperity.
The media is the only industry in Russia which did not have to tighten budgets due to the pandemic. The opposite is true – the spending on government television stations have increased by 40 percent and in 2021, they will exceed €1.1 billion. Furthermore, billions will be supplied from another pool of funds. State-owned companies and loyal oligarchs will take care of the condition of other media outlets, such as influential papers or radio stations.
It would seem that such a generously supported media shield will protect a leader from any sort of attacks.
This would be true, if not for YouTube.