The Kremlin has been using its media outlets to disseminate propaganda aimed at undermining Western countries and undermining their values.
Russian officials and state-owned media have been accused of pushing an anti-Western agenda since the start of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, when the Kremlin annexed Crimea and threatened to use force to remove its Ukrainian compatriots.
The new line is aimed at countering this, and the Kremlin has launched multiple efforts in recent weeks to undermine the credibility of Western media outlets, according to people familiar with the Kremlin’s thinking.
Russia is now targeting the Western media with a new propaganda campaign, the Kremlin is told, by using its channels and social media to spread the message that Western countries are the source of all evil, the people said.
The Kremlin’s move, according, has been described by some experts as a calculated attempt to undermine Western democracy, as Western leaders have pushed back against Russian propaganda.
But the Kremlin and Western leaders also see it as an effort to bolster their position on a global stage, the sources said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint news conference with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 12, 2020.
The Kremlin released a statement on Friday saying it had launched an anti-“western” propaganda campaign.
Russia is not the only one to try to counter Western influence.
Western leaders and media outlets have been pushing back against Russia’s propaganda efforts, which have intensified in recent months as the crisis over Ukraine has escalated.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called out Russia on Friday for spreading propaganda about Western countries as well as the West itself.
“We need to ask ourselves whether the information is accurate, whether it is being used for the benefit of our allies and partners in Europe,” Mogherinis said at a news conference in Brussels.