Saturday, February 25, 2023

Moscow has Transformed How Russian Cities Look to Propagandize Putin’s War, ‘Novaya Vladka’ Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 20 – The Kremlin’s propaganda effort has not been limited to messages on television and in social media. It has led to the appearance of all kinds of symbols of and messages about the war that have transformed the way in which Russian urban places now look, according to the editors of the Novaya Vladka portal.

            Russians walking through their cities are bombarded with ideological messages not so much from the media as from the environment with new signs going up and old ones modified to promote support for the war, materials that may do even more to “normalize” the conflict and generate support for it, the portal says (

            The portal chose the city of Penza to see how things have changed in the last year and concludes with a remark by one of that Russian urban center’s residents that 12 months later it is “as if I live in a different city,” one in many cases completely at odds with the one he had lived in earlier.

            The article contains a large number of pictures of Penza’s urban landscape today, a useful supplement to the more common discussions of broadcast and print propaganda and a reminder of how powerful such urban refashioning can be. One Penza woman said that as a result of what has happened, “the city is not visible,” having disappeared under the cover of propaganda.

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