The Sunday TimesThe Sunday Times

Russia launches cinema propaganda push to inspire war-weary public

By Aliide Naylor

11 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

In a bid to change hearts and minds in Russia, Vladimir Putin has ordered officials to churn out films dedicated to his "special military operation". But as the Sunday Times reports, it's a big ask.

A little over five years ago, Russian cinema needed a shot in the arm. The Kremlin told towns with populations of less than 100,000 that there would be funding available for the “creation of conditions for the screening of national films”.

Among the now largely-forgotten works that later emerged was the reputed brainchild of Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defence minister, which had been “personally approved” by President Putin. Entitled simply, Crimea, and shot on a budget of about 400 million rubles (£4.7 million), its release was accompanied by billboards across the country. “You don’t leave behind the ones you love,” audiences were told.

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