Friday, October 24, 2014

Situation reports

Citizens of the Russian Federation have rapidly changed their attitude towards the Western nations under the influence of the state information propaganda. Great bulk of citizens considers them to be their enemies and is extremely prejudiced against the U.S. and the EU. This is proved by the results of “Russia’s foreign policy enemies and partners” poll conducted by Levada-Center, Russian non-governmental organization.

84% of those questioned were of the opinion that Russia had enemies. This is the highest number to this question starting from March 1999. In September, 2012, only 63% conceived that Russia had enemies. 79% of Russians think that the Western nations are Russia’s adversaries eager to tackle their issues at its cost and affecting its interests when occasion offers. The number of such people accounted for 44% four years ago, in July, 2010.

Russia-EU relations have been appraised a little more positively. 66% said they viewed these relations as tense or hostile. Their number was 10% even in January, 2014. Concurrently, 36% of Russians are not concerned about the fact that their country is increasingly isolating from the Western world, 79% of those questioned think that community of Western nations’ opinions regarding Russia’s policy towards Ukraine is unjust.

Such fundamental change in public opinion in Russia is first of all determined by active propaganda of Kremlin’s foreign policy course against the Western nations. Russia has taken unprecedented steps on creating an effective propaganda machine primarily focused on misinforming the population and forming Kremlin’s required public opinion within the last 10 months. The current processes are comparable to the propaganda of pre-perestroika times (before 1986) on level of mass influence. Propagandists use old information clichés of 70-80s of the ХХ century perceived by the older generation more familiar with them. Moreover, the active process of history’s rewriting and forming positive public opinion towards the Soviet period among the youth is going on. The emphasis is laid on positive emotional factors: strong nation, first space flight, social fairness.

Meanwhile, the information concerning the victims of the Soviet regime, lack of individual freedom, dissent suppression, etc. is hushed up.

Kremlin is actively reconstructing a simplified bipolar perception of geo-political relations in the world in the country’s information field, where there are Russia and its partner China on one side, and the hostile Western world on the other. Concurrently, the information concerning the hostility of the Western world against Russia, as well as right and fair steps of Russian authorities on the world stage is actively implanted. At the same time, Russians are increasingly “cut out” of the access to alternative informational sources.

Consequently, nowadays Kremlin has practically completed shaping Russians’ public opinion towards the Western nations in a Cold War spirit. From now on the decisions of Russian authorities regarding the country’s isolation or military/unfriendly actions towards the Western nations will be supported inside the country. This reinforces Putin’s regime and gives him opportunity for extremely radical political play on the world stage and inside Russia.

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