Russian propaganda finds a home in Italian media

Unfortunately the full article is behind a paywall, but FB site Boycott Russia Today published an extract :

Danielle Pletka

Although the Lavrov interview was a notable and widely publicized moment, it was merely the tip of the Italian iceberg. Russia’s propagandists and sympathizers have made a home for themselves in Italian media and have had a significant impact on public opinion in that country. A report in a Coda newsletter (which follows disinformation) mere months after the initial Russian invasion of Ukraine in February detailed numerous instances of pro-Russian or Russian-influenced news masquerading as fact. One prominent host on Rete 4 described an appalling Russian massacre of Ukrainians: “There was a massacre in Bucha, [Ukraine], but I honestly cannot say who did it. … The Nazis are in Kyiv.”

The problem is not restricted to so-called conservative Italian channels either. State news channel Rai reported on the first attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (where tensions are currently boiling) as the result of Ukrainian “sabotage.” (There is little doubt Russia was behind the “sabotage.”)

In addition to its pro-Kremlin news anchors and hosts, Italian television has generously and repeatedly provided a platform to Putin’s cronies—but not in the interest of balance, as pro-Ukraine regulars on Italian television have complained of being shut out in favor of Russophiles.

Rather, details Matteo Pugliese, a researcher at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, Italian TV simply offers a judgment-free zone for the likes of Putin’s house philosopher Alexander Dugin (whose daughter, Darya Dugina, was recently killed in what many Russia observers believe was a false flag operation), Federal Security Service-supported Crimea-based journalist Yulia Vitazyeva, and a list of Russian state flunkies too long to reprint. (The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab noted that “Italy was the top location of Twitter accounts using the hashtag #Dugina in reference to the death of Darya Dugina.”)

This flood of Russian propaganda and propagandists in Italy is all the more notable in light of the fact that the Italian government (as part of a European Union decision) has banned Russian channels RT and Sputnik. But even without Kremlin-directed media broadcasting in Italy, Moscow’s messages are sticking.

With this history, it should come as little surprise that a European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) survey of Europe this year found Italians the most sympathetic to Russia of all countries polled. For the question “Who is mainly responsible for the outbreak of the war in Ukraine?” only 56 percent of Italians polled blamed Russia—the lowest number in Europe—with fully 27 percent blaming “Ukraine, the EU, or the U.S.” Ditto on the question of “Which country constitutes the biggest obstacle to peace between Russia and Ukraine?”—with 39 percent of Italians blaming Russia (again the lowest percentage in Europe), and an almost equal 35 percent blaming “Ukraine, the EU, or the U.S.”

One comment

  1. Why does the EU permit putler shill regimes Hungary, Austria and Italy to remain as members?
    Ans. Because the the EU is run by putler shill regimes France and Germany.

    Liked by 3 people

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