ANATOMY OF PROPAGANDA: TOP 3 EVENTS OF THE WEEK
During the reporting week, Russian propaganda swiftly dealt with several reputation crises which reached the peak of media interest: the direct hit on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the shooting of a group of senior officers in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the new prices of automotive fuel. However, not all cases caught the Kremlin's political technologists' actions being effective.
The tactics of concealing the number and consequences of missile and UAV attacks on objects of the Russian military infrastructure are experiencing more and more failures. It became extremely obvious in situations involving the destruction of the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and a military airfield in the Kursk region. In both cases, official speakers and the media initially took a position of silence. However, they were forced to acknowledge the facts after the videos leaked on social networks, but continued to downplay the consequences deliberately.
The shooting of a car with senior Russian "peacekeeping contingent" officers in Nagorno-Karabakh has been highly sensitive for Russian society. However, contrary to expectations and even calls from turbo-patriots, the Kremlin's reaction has been extremely ambiguous. Russian propaganda had to settle for circulating "apologies" allegedly offered by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and the readiness of the Azerbaijani side to provide material assistance to the families of the deceased.
The problem of rising prices during the reporting period was all about the fuel segment. The Russian government introduced temporary but indefinite restrictions on the export of automotive gasoline and diesel fuel. According to Rosstat, retail prices for gasoline and diesel fuel increased by 9.4% from the beginning of the year until September 18, and the authorities are trying to create conditions for reducing prices on the domestic market through these restrictions. The official version that the anti-market decision was made up to curb the growth of social and political tension in society got rejected on the official level.