Kremlin State TV Stars Flip Out as Russians Admit Putin’s War in Ukraine Is Aimless

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to stall—along with the Kremlin propaganda blitz meant to convince the Russians that supporting the war is their sacred duty. Pro-Kremlin propagandists unanimously agree that Vladimir Putin’s war is here for the long haul, but bristle at the fact that no one seems to know the end goal of the so-called “special operation.”

During Wednesday’s broadcast of NTV’s show Meeting Placehosts Andrey Norkin and Ivan Trushkin spearheaded a discussion about the effectiveness of homegrown propaganda, complaining about the lack of views and comments on “patriotic” promo reels urging the youth to rush for the front lines.

One guest, Russian rapper Ptakha, whose real name is David Nuriev, didn’t beat around the bush. “As far as the youth is concerned, honestly speaking, I communicate with a lot of them and very few understand what we’re doing there, because they [Ukrainians] didn’t cross our borders. Very few understand,” he said. “Trying to ride the wave of the Soviet ideology, claiming that we’re fighting Germans, is also very questionable.”

Trushkin asked: “Can you produce a clip explaining what we’re doing there, in a language that’s easy to understand?” Ptakha replied: “I don’t quite understand it myself.” Norkin angrily retorted: “I categorically reject what you’re saying right now, young man. Let’s stop butting heads over here.”

Undeterred, Ptakha continued to speak and said the Wagner Group of mercenaries are at war solely “to make money,” and that the rest of Russian troops don’t understand Moscow’s aims. As the guests piled on, loudly arguing with the inconvenient assessment, Norkin shut Ptakha down: “I don’t want to offend you or insult you, but you are very certain that you’re right, despite your lack of basis. You want us to explain all of this to you, but we aren’t going to do that. This is not the point of today’s program.”

During Monday’s airing of The Evening With Vladimir Solovyovthe eponymous propagandist complained about the “generation gap,” stating that mainly men of his own age are fighting in Ukraine, while younger Russians aren’t eager to march into battle.

In Solovyov’s Wednesday broadcast, the topics of propaganda and the widespread lack of understanding as to Russia’s long-range goals were equally front and center. Andrey Sidorov, deputy dean of world politics at the Moscow State University, predicted that the West will intensify its information offensive against Russia during the spring of 2024—targeting the presidential election. “Russia’s destruction is the main goal of the West, they openly admit that,” he said.

With notable irritation, Sidorov pointed out: “When the government does not identify clear goals, it’s very difficult to fulfill your oath… so what is our goal?” He complained about the lack of clarity on how much of Ukraine Russia intends to occupy, expressing his hope that the final aim includes all of the Ukrainian territory. During Tuesday’s broadcast of the show Time Will TellState Duma member Alexander Kazakov likewise argued that Russia should take all of Ukraine: “We need all of it—everything!”

State media’s desperation to control the narrative of the war is palpable, with propagandists seemingly competing for the most outrageous theory on what would happen if Russia loses the war. Head of RT Margarita Simonyan previously alleged that the Russians would end up in Western concentration camps or be turned into mindless “yahoos,” while Professor Dmitry Evstafiev predicted that they would be caged and displayed alongside animals at the zoo.

“What will happen if the West is allowed to build the kind of a world it wants to create? What kind of world will it be? Can a normal person live in this world?,” political scientist Sergey Mikheyev lamented on Solovyov’s show. “Humans will turn into non-humans… humanity as a whole will be eradicated… What is ahead of us is the forced replacement of people with robots and robotization of the people… If we don’t confront the West, utter horror will follow, it will be a catastrophe.”

In an apparent effort to strengthen Russia’s ideological standing and eliminate foreign influence, Vitaly Tretyakov, dean of Moscow State University’s School of Television, pushed for Russia’s liberals to be forced into publicly denouncing their written criticism of the Soviet Union. He called for the Russian Academy of Sciences to arrange for these public denunciations and threw in another proposal: “Maybe we should burn these books!”

Mikheyev eagerly chimed in: “Together with their authors!”


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