(Christian Science Monitor) With US and Russian tensions flaring around the world, anti-American sentiment has been rising in Moscow for some time.
And the recent Democratic National Committee email leaks that many experts and US officials have blamed on the Kremlin appear to be further hardening anti-Western attitudes and benefiting Russian President Vladimir Putin's standing at home ahead of his September reelection bid.
"The anti-Western narrative does seem to be one of the most effective narratives that the Russians are able to use," says Robert Orttung, assistant director at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the George Washington University.
"The main idea is simply to distract the Russian public from the problems they face at home," he says. "Putin is using that as a way of maintaining his power."
Mr. Orttung says the Russian government uses its control over dozens of media outlets to promulgate that message. After the DNC hack, for instance, Russian TV reporters attempted to embarrass Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and emphasize corruption in the US electoral process, including reports that connected the former Secretary of State to murders of political figures. […]
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