(Moscow Times) (Co-authored with E. Nelson) The plunging value of the ruble is forcing even Russia's state-funded international television channel RT to face reality. Russia's economic difficulties are inducing the many-headed hydra of Russia's international propaganda machine to tighten its belt. Less money will force the Kremlin spin doctors to be more creative to push their message into the Western discourse.
Fewer resources will necessarily cut RT's reach through traditional media, but will not automatically reduce its capacity to disrupt the West's ability to respond coherently to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The Kremlin's overall goal is to insert divisions between the Western allies that have imposed sanctions against it and in doing so, erode support for continuing such measures. Successfully creating these divisions requires targeting specific content to niche audiences through local language content. […]
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