The DispatchThe Dispatch

Russia’s other propaganda war

By Ivana Stradner

06 Jun 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. The Kremlin has weaponized what it calls "traditional spiritual and moral values" to secure regime control and promote Russian influence abroad.

U.S. efforts to counter Russian propaganda focus almost exclusively on defense: The government is forced to shore up the integrity of our elections and combat disinformation on social media. But there is a different propaganda war the Kremlin is waging against the West (as well as its own people), parallel to its shooting war with Ukraine: It has long weaponized what it calls “traditional spiritual and moral values.” At home, Vladimir Putin aims to ensure the security of his regime and justify its aggressive censorship and revanchism. Globally, Moscow seeks to promote Russian influence, forge alliances with like-minded actors, and stoke divisive culture wars in the West. It’s a campaign the U.S. cannot afford to ignore anymore than it could ignore the invasion of Ukraine.

Spiritual-moral values: securing regime control.

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