Staunton, May 19 – Over the last five years, Vladimir Putin has moved to rein in or even destroy a dozen of Russia’s formerly more independent media outlets, most recently RBC (meduza.io/feature/2016/05/17/12-redaktsiy-za-pyat-let And that prompts the question: whom will the Kremlin leader go after next.
While Putin sometimes appears to have acted or reacted to something this or that outlet released that he or his entourage did not like, in many cases, there has been a campaign by the opponents of that outlet that has sought to pressure the Russian president to take actions. Indeed, he often has been able to position himself as simply responding to the complaints of others.
Consequently, it is vitally important for those concerned about media freedom and the Putin regime to keep track of what such outlets known to be close to and to have influence on the Kremlin are saying because they may provide important clues and advance warning of what Putin will do next in “tightening the screws” on the media in Russia.
An article on Aleksandr Dugin’s Eurasian portal may be just such an alert. One of the influential Eurasian leader’s acolytes, Yevgeny Datsun, has written a very disturbing piece this week entitled “Whose Interests Does the Radio Station ‘Ekho Moskvy’ Serve and Why haven’t Measures been Taken Up to Now?” (evrazia.org/article/2860).
As Russians become ever more united and consolidated around their leader, the Eurasian commentator says, there will always be people found who for one reason or another will seek to limit or even reverse that trend. Some are motivated by envy, pride, or ambition, but often it is because they have sold out to the West.
One can read in the Internet the explanation for some, he says, “’Yes, we are against Russia; yes, we are for the US and for the dollars’” we get. Anyone who doubts this is a factor need only look for himself, Datsun says. And the evidence of this betrayal is especially great in the case of the Ekho Moskvy radio station.
This institution shouldn’t be calling itself a radio station, he continues, but the fact that it calls itself “the echo of Moscow” is telling: “An echo, as a physical phenomenon, reproduces certain sound waves but as a rule distorts them.” That is precisely what Ekho Moskvy is doing in getting its directives from the West.
The best way to understand Ekho Moskvy, the Eurasianist argues, is to view it as “a black box” inside of which there is a certain “algorithm” paid for by Western money that ensures that when any event happens, the station will process it via that algorithm and put out a distorted version of reality.
It has done that throughout the Ukrainian crisis. It has done so in the cases of terrorism inside the borders of the Russian Federation. And it has done so on a wide variety of issues, Datsun says. This should not come as a surprise because it is “a black box” which has been created to “manipulate” the consciousness of Russians by “reducing critical thought” by putting out “absurd” arguments” and “distorted information.”
As such, it can’t be changed; it can only be broken up along with “the algorithm” supplied by the West, he suggests. One can only fear that Putin may be listening and won’t see that what Datsun is accusing Ekho Moskvy of doing is exactly what pro-Kremlin media are doing according to a different “algorithm” the Russian state has supplied.