ANATOMY OF PROPAGANDA: TOP 3 EVENTS OF THE WEEK
During the reporting period, Kremlin political technologists had to deny the ongoing rumours about the use of Putin's doubles and justify the riots at Makhachkala airport. A separate foreign policy vector remains to focus on coercing Ukraine into the so-called peaceful negotiations.
The line set during Putin's visit to China for "peaceful" negotiations last week was reinforced by Russia's foreign policy satellites - Belarus and Hungary. Lukashenko urged Russia and Ukraine to start negotiations on a peaceful settlement "without any preconditions" as soon as possible. A call for peaceful negotiations between Ukraine and Russia was made by both the Hungarian and Slovakian Foreign Ministers. The logic promoted by Russia's allies corresponds to Putin's interests - temporarily freezing the conflict in hopes of restoring the Russian army and diminishing the West's interest in assisting Ukraine.
The rumours in Kremlin again were refuted that President Vladimir Putin is periodically replaced by a double. "I can say that there are no doubles," Dmitry Peskov said at a briefing. Putin's recent visit to China fueled public discussions about the Russian leader using doubles. In particular, the American magazine Newsweek even contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain a comment on this matter. With the upcoming presidential elections, the Kremlin is not interested in circulating such assumptions and is trying to deny them officially.
The Kremlin's propaganda attempts to propagate the idea that foreign forces instigate the ongoing unrest in Dagestan. This version was voiced by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, as well as the head of the Coordinating Center of Muslims of the North Caucasus, Ismail Berdiev, and many top Russian propagandists. Therefore, the Kremlin is attempting to shift responsibility for the events at Makhachkala airport to external forces.