Cold War Media Tactics Fuel Ukraine Crisis

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tags: Cold War, Ukraine, propaganda

PARIS — One of the fixtures of Cold War propaganda was a map flashed across television screens depicting menacing arrows moving toward the borders of an endangered homeland. The cutaway would be to newsreel footage of missiles being fired, marching soldiers or scenes of devastation from past wars.

In the past week, as the crisis in Crimea deepened, similar images have been running on Russia’s state-run television. Even for the Kremlin’s master propagandists, it is a tenuous stretch — but that’s of no matter. The enemy has been identified: It is the West, allied with “fascist mercenaries” in Ukraine.

The scale of Russia’s propaganda effort in the current crisis has been breathtaking, even by Soviet standards. Facts have been twisted, images doctored (Ukrainians shown as fleeing to Russia were actually crossing the border to Poland), and harsh epithets (neo-Nazis) hurled at the demonstrators in Kiev — who President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia belatedly acknowledged had legitimate gripes against a corrupt and failed government....

Read entire article at New York Times

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