Putin and His Lies

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2015-01-30 11:32

A pro-Putin rally in Moscow. Are we back to the Stalinist days?

Excerpted from http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/putins-luegen-glaubt-russlands-praesident-die-eigene-propaganda-a-1015309.html; in Russian, at https://openrussia.org/post/view/2370/

During his first and second terms as Russian president, Putin impressed many Western leaders with his knowledge of details and as “a difficult but all the same reliable partner in negotiations.” But those times are now “long past”

Since returning for his third term, Putin has made dishonesty and lies “practically a daily element of Russian policy,” employing “the big lie” as part of a conscious effort to define situations and “small lies” in speeches which raise the question: “Is he only poorly informed or does he believe his own propaganda?”

In the summer of 2012, Putin tried to convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel that protests against him in Moscow were “manifestations of ‘the sexually deformed’” and that those involved in the Pussy Riot actions were “anti-Semites,” statements so at variance with reality and so unnecessary that his German audience was shocked.

Most recently but in the same key, Putin told students in St. Petersburg that pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas were “fighting not with the Ukrainian army but with ‘a NATO legion.’”

Was Putin consciously lying? Was he poorly informed? Or has he fallen under the spell of his own propaganda? 

Putin has clearly lied about key events in the course of the Ukrainian conflict, denying what he had to know was true or asserting things that he had to know were false. But he has also said things which show that he has been poorly briefed – his assertions about the number of Ukrainians in Russia, for example – or believes his government’s own propaganda.

One thing is clear: The Kremlin sets the tone, and the Russian media follows, in the big lies and the small. If Putin knows he is lying, that is one thing – lies can be deployed as part of state policy – but if he doesn’t, that is more dangerous because it means he doesn’t know what he is saying and doesn’t care.

The latter is suggested by the following: It is well known that Putin doesn’t like the Internet, and has said himself that he doesn’t have the time to read newspapers and gets most of his news and information from subordinates. But he does watch television. That means that “reality reaches the leader of the Kremlin only after being filtered through his own propaganda.”

This can mean that Putin is seeing his own lies multiplied and confirmed rather than challenged and corrected, a dangerous situation for anyone but especially dangerous in the case of a ruler with a large nuclear arsenal at his disposal.


News, Russia



Ukrainian army officer held by Russian authorities was transferred from a prison to a hospital Thursday after losing more than 60 pounds during a hunger strike to challenge her arrest, her lawyer said.

Nadezhda Savchenko, who is also a Ukrainian lawmaker, has been held since June, accused of complicity in the death of two Russian journalists covering fighting between separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Russian investigators say Savchenko coordinated the mortar fire that killed the journalists on June 17, a charge her lawyers dispute. Her presence in Russia has been a source of intense debate over whether she arrived willingly or was kidnapped.

Savchenko, 33, says she was taken prisoner in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, one of two regions where Ukrainian forces are battling separatist fighters they say are backed by Russia, and handed over to Moscow.

Her Russian lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, said his client was helping to evacuate injured troops on June 17 and had nothing to do with the deaths of the reporters. [Go to the link to read the rest of this interesting story. It is pretty easy to tell who is lying, imo.]