The New York TimesThe New York Times

An alternate reality: How Russia's state TV spins the Ukraine war

By Paul Mozur, Adam Satariano and Aaron Krolik

15 Dec 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

The NYT offers a rare glimpse inside the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, showing how Moscow deftly crafts an alternate reality in which Russia is winning the war and the Western alliance is crumbling.

As Russian tanks were stuck in the mud outside Kyiv, Ukraine, earlier this year and the economic fallout of war with Ukraine took hold, one part of Russia’s government hummed with precision: television propaganda.

Spinning together a counternarrative for tens of millions of viewers, Russian propagandists plucked clips from American cable news, right-wing social media and Chinese officials. They latched onto claims that Western embargoes of Russian oil would be self-defeating, that the United States was hiding secret bioweapon research labs in Ukraine and that China was a loyal ally against a fragmenting West.

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