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“Russian state propaganda is preparing people to think that nuclear war is not a bad thing”

The Russian authorities closed his newspaper, but the journalist Dmitry Muratov refuses to be silenced.

When we met in Moscow, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta and a Russian Nobel Peace Prize laureate worries how far the Kremlin will go in its confrontation with the West.

LOOK: A well-known Russian military blogger who supported the war in Ukraine was killed in a bomb attack in St. Petersburg

“Two generations have lived without the threat of nuclear war,” Muratov tells me.

“But this period is over. Will Putin push the nuclear button or not? Who knows? Nobody knows. There is not a single person who can say for sure.”

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, nuclear threats from Moscow They have been strong and frequent.

Senior officials have made unsubtle hints that Western nations arming Ukraine should not put too much pressure on Russia.

It has been over a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. (GETTY IMAGES).

A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Then one of his closest aides, Nikolai Patrushev, warned that Russia had “a unique modern weapon capable of destroying any enemy, including the United States.”

Deceit and bravado? Or a threat to be taken seriously? Muratov detects worrisome signs inside Russia.

state propaganda

“We see how state propaganda is preparing people to think that nuclear war is not a bad thing,” he says.

“On the TV channels here, nuclear war and nuclear weapons are promoted as if they are advertising pet food.”

“They announce: ‘We have this missile, that missile, another type of missile.’ They talk about targeting the UK and France, causing a nuclear tsunami to sweep across the US. Why are they saying this? So that people here are prepared.” .

Dmitry Muratov was one of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. (GETTY IMAGES).

Dmitry Muratov was one of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. (GETTY IMAGES).

Recently, on Russian state television, a prominent talk show host suggested that Russia “should declare any military targets on the territory of France, Poland and the United Kingdom as legitimate for [Rusia]”.

The same host also suggested “flattening an island with strategic nukes and test launching or firing tactical nukes, so no one gets their hopes up.”

However, the state propaganda here portrays Russia as a country of peace, and Ukraine and the West as the aggressors. Many Russians believe it.

“People in Russia are irradiated with propaganda,” says Muratov. “Propaganda is a type of radiation. Everyone is susceptible to it, not just the Russians.”

“In Russia, propaganda is twelve TV channels, tens of thousands of newspapers, social networks like VK [la versión rusa de Facebook] who completely serve the state ideology”.

“But what if tomorrow the propaganda suddenly stops?” I ask. “If everything goes quiet? What would the Russians think then?”

Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia more than 23 years ago.  (GETTY IMAGES).

Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia more than 23 years ago. (GETTY IMAGES).

hope in the youth

“Our younger generation is wonderful,” Muratov replies. “She is well educated. Almost a million Russians have left the country. Many of those who have stayed are categorically against what is happening in Ukraine.”

“Are against the hell that Russia has created there”.

“I am convinced that as soon as the propaganda stops, this generation, and everyone else with common sense, will speak up.”

“They are already doing it,” continues Muratov. “21,000 administrative and criminal cases have been opened against the Russians who have protested. The opposition is in jail. The media have been shut down.”

“Many activists, civilians and journalists have been labeled as foreign agents.”

“Does Putin have a support base? Yes, a huge one. But these are older people who see Putin as their own grandson, as someone who will protect them and who brings them their pension every month and wishes them Happy New Year every year.” “.

“These people believe that their royal grandsons should go and fight and die,” he says.

Last year, Muratov auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize to raise money for Ukrainian refugee children. Is little optimistic about the future.

“Never again will there be normal relations between the people of Russia and Ukraine. Never. Ukraine will not be able to accept this tragedy.”

“In Russia, the political repression against all opponents of the regime will continue,” he added.

“The only hope I have is in the young generation, those people who see the world as a friend, not an enemy and who want Russia to be loved and Russia to love the world.”

“I hope this generation survives me and Putin,” concludes Muratov.

Source: Elcomercio

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