One part of Russian Information Warfare that is not written about enough is how Russia controls the Russian press.
Let’s use Crimea as an example.
- Strictly control opposition press, restrict their access to any embattled areas. Undermine, belittle, and attack opposition sources and stories.
- Flood the news with stories enhancing the Russian side of the story and negating any negatives.
- Manufacture ‘protests’ supporting the Russian side and dedicate coverage. Make it appear as if there is overwhelming popular support for the Russian perspective. Manufacture incidents which reinforce the need for Russian assistance/intrusion.
Now, apply these lessons to Russia, itself.
- Strictly control opposition press, physically attack them if they persist, kill them when necessary. Use the legal system to harass opposition press, invent spurious charges, and disrupt their effectiveness.
- Resource state-sponsored and state-controlled Russian domestic news sources with an overwhelming budget.
- Pay actors to stage pro-Putin and Pro-Russian protests. Suppress opposition protests, suppress reporting on opposition activities.
Here we see Russian independent publication Novaya Gazeta, knowing full well the oppressive nature of the Russian government, standing up to and actively resisting the Putin regime. This is a deadly game in which the Russian government has history engaged opposition of all types, domestically and outside the country.
Expect this battle to continue and expect casualties. As in the murder of Boris Navalny, a spotlight shown on a person gives little inhibition to Russian assassins.
These Russian journalists have more guts than most soldiers. Mad respect.
- Russian ‘Novaya Gazeta’ newspaper set to arm reporters after stabbing Deutsche Welle
- I will give my journalists guns, says Novaya Gazeta editor The Times
- Russian opposition newspaper will arm its journalists The Guardian
Russian opposition newspaper editors want to arm their reporters with guns and provide weapons training in the wake of a number of attacks against local journalists.
“I will arm the newsroom,” Dmitry Muratov, editor of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, said Thursday during a radio interview, the Guardian reported.
“If the state is not ready to protect us, we will protect ourselves,” deputy editor Sergei Sokolov seconded. “When journalists find themselves helpless in the face of lawlessness in the streets and indiscipline of law enforcement agencies, there is no other way.”
The move follows the mysterious deaths of journalists who were critical of the Kremlin. On Monday, journalist Tatiana Felgenhaur, who worked for Russia’s only independent news station, was stabbed in the neck during a midday knife attack at the studio where she worked, the New York Post reported.
Many more journalists have died under mysterious circumstances, with Novaya Gazeta journalists being the top targets. Prolific investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, for example, was fatally shot in an elevator in her apartment building in 2006.
Novaya Gazeta editors are reportedly cooperating with the Ministry of the Interior on an arrangement that allows journalists to carry non-lethal weapons that fire rubber projectiles.
A Kremlin spokesperson said the need for extra security was pointless. But journalists were not quick to agree.
“I don’t see anything bad in our situation,” said Novaya Gazeta correspondent Pavel Kanygin, according to Agence France-Presse. “This too is defense.”