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Russia is training the propagandists working in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia oblast

16.10.2023, 16:49

Russia is training the propagandists working in the temporarily occupied part of Zaporizhzhia oblast. The trainees join a capability building program where they are taught, among others, by Kremlin propagandists Vladimir Soloviev and Anatoliy Wasserman.

This was reported by the propaganda Telegram channel "Noviy Melitopol".

The Russian Federal School "New Media Workshop" gives the lessons in person in Moscow. The course consists of several one-week modules.

The school is funded by grants provided to two organizations from the federal budget: to "Dialogue Regions" (a non-profit developing digital projects in the field of PR and communications) and "Senezh" (the management workshop of the presidential platform "Russia – the Country of Opportunities").

The "New Media Workshop" is run by Mikhail Kanavtsev. He is an economist who has previously taken part in cybernetics research. Currently, he is the head of the "New Media Workshop" department at the "Russia – the Country of Opportunities" who is nostalgic about the USSR and considers the current journalism standards to have been forced on Russia, calling for the creation of their own. In one of his videos about the school, he says: "Media workers should construct tasks: how a person should think, what his thoughts are based on"; "the media is a tool for working with people's thinking" and wants to make the media into "a chainmail that will serve a function of protecting the state, protecting the people."

The participants are given lessons by propagandist Vladimir Soloviev, CEO of the non-profit "Institute of Internet Development" Alexey Goreslavskiy, CEO of the non-profits "Dialog" and "Dialog Regions" Vladimir Tabak.

The list also includes the chair of the Soyuzmultfilm board of directors, Yuliana Slaschova (director general at the M. Gorkiy Film Studio), Sofia Malyavina (CEO of the non-profit "National Priorities"), Russian producer Gevond Andreasyan (known for the films "Chikatilo", "One Kind of a Carlson", "Women vs. Men", etc.), and Anatoliy Wasserman (a State Duma deputy from the Socialist Party "Just Russia – Patriots for the Truth" and a propagandist advocating for the extermination of Ukraine).

According to the organizers, the "school" covers all the expenses for the participants. The specializations include "Media communications" (training for media experts, journalists, bloggers, content makers, SMMs who want to create useful projects in new media outlets), "Young media professionals" (for young media workers and bloggers, senior students or graduates of media departments and media schools, employees of media centers for students and the youth), "Strategic communications" (for screenwriters, producers, media technologists, heads of production and production centers), "Digital communications" (for PR experts at commercial and public companies, leading employees of communication agencies).

According the occupiers' Telegram channel "Noviy Melitopol", the "school" is joined by Natalia Zaezzhaia from Zaporizhzhia, who is said to represent the Moscow-installed Ministry of Youth Policy of Zaporizhzhia oblast. However, the propagandist is not from Zaporizhzhia oblast and has no ties to Ukraine. Her VKontakte page says that she is from Moscow and has written for local websites such as "Moscow on Foot. Patriarch's Ponds". Now she claims to be a representative of Zaporizhzhia oblast.

Natalia Zaezzhaia, photo from VKontakte

The photos about the "school" which she posted on VKontakte, also feature Anfisa Duzynkevich, aged 25, from the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District of Russia. It has been reported that she won the "Yamala Media" (a contest of reporting on inter-ethnic subjects) for her material "Deerherd Day 2021" and has received a 60,000 rubles grant from the Yamala governor.

The photos also feature Anara Edegeeva, a 24-year-old journalist from Astrakhan who works for the website Astrakhan 24, writes about social media and makes videos about "Immortal Regiment" marches. Another representative of the "school" is Victoria Vodostoyeva from Moscow, who is an architect by education and is known to be the winner of the "Face of the District" 2020 competition, as well as the district startup accelerator "Moscow Youth" 2022, supported by the Moscow Committee for Public Relations and Youth Policy.

Natalia Zaezzhaia on VKontakte

The organizers stress that this year the participants of the "school" include representatives of the newly occupied territories of Ukraine.

As IMI reported, the propaganda media school "Mediatopol", which is funded from Russia's federal budget, recently opened in the temporarily occupied part of Zaporizhzhia oblast.

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