Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kremlin propaganda intensifying in Europe

In his Postimees blog, Estonian MP Marko Mihkelson has commented on the recent interviews given by Russian leaders: Vladimir Putin to German television (ARD) and Dmitry Medvedev to Italian television (RAI). The Russian leadership is evidently investing a great deal of time and money in foreign propaganda, in an attempt to show the citizens of what they believe is a divided Europe "who is boss". The latest series of interviews amounts to a kind of "media show" by Russia's president and prime minister. Mihkelson writes (my tr.):

The interviews are a skilful smokescreen. The aim is to deceive the simple-hearted West by the use of philistine methods of the type -- "if it doesn't affect me, it doesn't interest me." Or in other words: the best defence is attack. At any rate, the Kremlin's tactics are transparent. Moscow is trying to do everything it can to play on the weaknesses of Western democracies and open societies, both internally and internationally.

In the most recent interview it's worth mentioning Medvedev's statement today which was directed at the Baltic States.In his interview for Italian television (RAI) the Russian president said that the fears of the Baltic States that they may be the object of an attack by Russia are like "phantom pains". In Medvedev's opinion they are a means by which the Baltic countries keep their political elites "in a slightly excited state". To which one might simply reply: look in the mirror, comrade president.

The English-language transcript of the RAI interview is here.
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