Staunton, July 15 – It is widely but incorrectly believed that the Kremlin keeps two sets of books, one that is more or less accurate on which it relies and a second that is fundamentally distorted in order to make things look better to the population than they in fact are, Dmitry Nekrasov says.
According to the former analyst of the Federal Tax Service and the Presidential Administration’s Analytic Center, any effort to falsify data about things where a large amount of information is doomed to failure. It is too easy for experts to see where and how much falsification is going on (newizv.ru/comment/dmitriy-nekrasov/16-07-2022/parad-otmenyaetsya-pochemu-gosudarstvu-ne-nuzhna-falsifikatsiya-statisticheskih-dannyh).
Consequently, the government uses two methods to present itself in the best light but neither involves direct invention of figures, something that would quickly be spotted by those who take the time to analyst the situation. On the one hand, Moscow may choose to release less and less data on certain things making such crosschecks more difficult if not impossible.
And on the other hand, it may present data selectively, cherry picking information and then play up the data which show it in a good light while ignoring as far as the public discussion of the data is concerned anything which shows that things are not going as well as the regime closes, Nekrasov says.
When he worked in the Presidential Administration, the political scientist says, he frequently encountered data that was collected but never published but – and this is the key passage of his article in Novyye izvestiya, he “did not once encounter a situation in which published data did not correspond with data for internal use” by the authorities.