Zelenskyy Chief Of Staff Gives Russian State TV Scathing One Word Review
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Featured Image Credit: C-SPAN/Russia 24
Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, delivered a blistering takedown of Russian state TV on Friday.
Yermak made the remarks while in conversation with the former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst during an interview for C-SPAN, which aired on Friday 25 March, in which he decried the relentless onslaught of reality-denying propaganda broadcast daily by Russia’s state-run media following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s terrible,” he said.
“It is impossible to listen to how the journalists in the Russian television, 24 hours, issue absolute bulls**t,” Yermak continued.
“Absolutely fakes. It’s not just part of the fakes. It’s 100% of the fakes,” he added. “It’s impossible to listen.”
In Russia, more than 90 percent of the media is run by the state, and since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict just under a month ago has been broadcasting little other than support for the Kremlin's 'special military operation'.
However, occasional cracks have appeared – the most notable of which being a rare on-air protest at Russia’s Channel One several weeks ago when editor Marina Ovsyannikova stormed the set of a news broadcast with a sign that read ‘NO WAR’. The Kremlin has otherwise kept a tight ship when it comes to staying on message.
A woman burst onto Russia’s main live evening newscast today with a sign that says:— max seddon (@maxseddon) March 14, 2022
“Stop the war
Don’t believe propaganda
They’re lying to you”
And chanting: “Stop the war! No to war!”pic.twitter.com/pKVKZFVEM3
In a recent interview with Slate, former Russian investigative journalist Alexey Kovalyov, who fled Moscow in March, explained the extent to which the Russian government keeps an iron grip on the country’s media.
“All the major talking points, especially about coverage of things like the war in Ukraine, comes from a guy in the presidential administration,” he said.
“They gather all the heads of all the major national TV networks – there aren’t any independent ones left – and they’re basically given talking points directly from the president’s office to broadcast.
“It’s just a government-mandated agenda. It’s not up for discussion. If you consume only Russian government media, and that is probably true for about 70 percent of Russians now, you wouldn’t even know there’s a war going on.
“It’s quite absurd watching this coverage. It’s like a parallel reality where you see a news piece about the Russian army liberating one Ukrainian town after another. They’re just making this s**t up as they go. But not a single news story would mention that there was a war going on in Ukraine.”
Yermak’s comments come as Russia appears to be making plans to scale back its faltering invasion, which has reportedly seen up to 15,000 Russian troops killed so far, with Moscow announcing on Friday it was prioritising taking control of the contested Donbas region in the south-east of the country.
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