There's a Crack in the Kremlin's Propaganda Wall in a Very Unexpected Place

Russian anchorman Vladimir Solovyov with President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin (Wikipedia)

Vladimir Solovyev hosts one of the most popular news programs on Russian state television, Russia 1. He’s also a dyed-in-the-wool, pro-Putin, pro-Russia propagandist. Solovyev is so fanatical he’s been sanctioned by the EU for being an important cog in Putin’s propaganda machine. His villas in Italy have been seized as a result of sanctions — an act that caused Soloviyev to go on an angry rant on his TV show.


But in recent days, several guests have appeared on his show questioning the war in Ukraine — a nearly unbelievable development considering how rock-solid Russia 1 has been in celebrating the invasion.

Guests have actually gone as far as asking for Putin to stop the war.


Russian state television has broadcast calls for Vladimir Putin, the country’s president, to stop his war in Ukraine during a programme in which pundits openly likened the invasion to “Afghanistan, but even worse”.

Vladimir Soloviyev, usually one of the Kremlin’s most reliable chief propagandists, had to interrupt guests on his prime time television talk show to stop their criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking during a broadcast on Russia 1, Karen Shakhnazarov, a filmmaker and state pundit, said the conflict in Ukraine risked isolating Russia.

He told Mr Soloviyev: “I have a hard time imagining taking cities such as Kyiv. I can’t imagine how that would look.”

To be sure, the pundits and Mr. Solovyev are blaming the United States for Russia’s predicament. But some of the criticism directed at Putin is unheard of.


Daily Beast:

The host frowned at the apparent departure from the officially approved line of thinking and deferred to the commander-in-chief. However, the next expert agreed with Shakhnazarov. Semyon Bagdasarov, a Russian Middle East expert, grimly said: “We didn’t even feel the impact of the sanctions just yet… We need to be ready for total isolation. I’m not panicking, just calling things by their proper name.”

Soloviev angrily sniped: “Gotcha. We should just lay down and die.”

State TV pundit and filmmaker Shakhnazarov believes it’s even possible that the Ukraine fiasco could lead to civil war.

This threatens the change of public opinion in Russia, the destabilization of our power structures… with the possibility of a full destabilization of the country and a civil war. This apocalyptic scenario is based on the script written by the Americans. They benefit through us dragging out the military operation. We need to end it somehow. If we achieved the demilitarization and freed the Donbas, that is sufficient…

That public opinion in Russia has been molded largely through the lens of state TV. So it must come as a shock to the Russian people to hear people who were confidently predicting an easy victory talking gloom and doom.

Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, state TV experts predicted that Russia could overtake it in a matter of minutes or a few days. Stunned by the fierce resistance on the part of Ukrainians, Soloviev described them as “the army that is second in Europe, after ours, and which has been prepared for eight years and armed with everything you can imagine.”

Soloviev added: “This is a frightening war that is being waged against us by America.”


Frankly, talk of civil war in Russia is silly, but the fact that it’s even mentioned is a significant departure from what the Russian people have been used to.

What’s more, the crack in the media monolith gives heart to President Zelenskyy and his government. There may be hope for an end to the war that would result in most of Ukraine’s sovereignty being left intact.

If that happens, there would be no hiding Vladimir Putin’s failure.


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member