Two independent Russian news outlets that refused to spout the Kremlin’s talking points following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine were forced off the air this week, forcing citizens to rely on state-run media that won’t even use the term “war” to describe the ongoing attack. 

“Putin is trying but failing to control the narrative,” Daniel Hoffman told Fox News Digital. “At the end of the day, there’s a lot of dead Russian soldiers. Kids aren’t coming home, and that message is going to get out loud and clear, and that’s part of the tragedy.” 

Hoffman, a Fox News contributor and previously a senior officer with the Central Intelligence Agency who served a tour of duty in the former Soviet Union, said the Kremlin’s assault on accurate information is similar to USSR-era attempts. 

“In the Soviet days, the Soviets tried to crack down on news and exercise full control over what people could hear and read, you know, like George Orwell ‘1984’ stuff. But they weren’t successful and information got in, books got in, banned information got in,” Hoffman said. “Russians are crafty people, and they’ll find a way.”

Russian authorities accused Ekho Moskvy, one of the country’s oldest radio stations, and Dozhd, Russia’s top independent TV channel which is also known as TV Rain, of “false information regarding the actions of Russian military personnel as part of a special operation” in Ukraine. The move to silence non-state news organizations comes after Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal body responsible for overseeing media, has urged all news outlets to only use “trustworthy sources” when it comes to reporting on the invasion of Ukraine.

“What they mean by that is Russian government sources,” intelligence expert and national security commentator Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital. 

Russia Today, a state-run media operation also known as RT, remains available throughout the nation despite its editor-in-chief stepping down Tuesday after condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. RT has parroted Putin’s talking points related to the attack.

“That one is not going anywhere,” Koffler said. 

RT’s American branch ceased operations this week.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called Putin’s efforts to shut down Russia’s free press “deeply” concerning to the Biden administration.

“The Kremlin, right now, is engaged in a full assault on media, freedom and the truth,” Psaki said Thursday.

Psaki said Russia has also taken steps to consider making “unofficial reporting” punishable by up to 15 years in prison and has blocked many social media platforms.

“What they are trying to do is block any information about what they are doing to invade a sovereign country,” she said. “They’re taking severe steps to do exactly that.”

Hoffman feels Russia’s steps are making it more difficult, but not impossible, for citizens to learn what’s really happening in Ukraine, but they might have to rely on the internet. 

“Russia tried to build a great firewall, authoritarian internet, but I think it can be penetrated. I think Russians, especially their hacking community, is going to find a way to get the news,” he said. “The news people watch on TV is just state-run propaganda.” 

Hoffman also believes Putin, who has attempted to control access to truthful information in Russia for years, isn’t fooling the country’s population at large. 

“I mean, look, he’s calling Ukrainians neo-Nazis and drug dealers, and all this propaganda stuff we all know isn’t true. And I think deep down, a mass of his population, they know it’s not true,” Hoffman said. “It highlights for us, here in America, why Ukraine is on the front line … They are the geopolitical fault line right now between democracy and authoritarianism, and a hallmark of authoritarianism is to control the narrative, control what people hear and see and then distort the truth.” 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and spokesperson Ned Price have both appeared on Dozhd in the last two weeks, which is an indication of the now-banned outlet’s importance to providing accurate information to Russians. On Tuesday, Price appeared on Dozhd and criticized Russian authorities’ move shuttering the outlet.

“We condemn the Kremlin’s shuttering of independent media outlets like these in an effort to stifle dissent against its premeditated, unprovoked and unjustifiable attack against Ukraine,” Price said Tuesday. 

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One thought on “Putin Controls Ukraine Narrative By Shutting Down Non-State Media!”
  1. Putin is acting just like our government and the Democrats. Don’t allow any communication that doesn’t agree with the approved version.

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