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Russian state media took cues from the FSB and the Ministry of Defense about how to cover events – NYT

15.12.2022, 18:01
Photo: CCD
Photo: CCD

Russian media holding VGTRK took cues from the FSB and the Ministry of Defense about how to cover events.

The New York Times journalists report this, having viewed leaked correspondence between VGTRK staff members from January to March 2022.

They analyzed a total of 900 thousand emails sent by VGTRK employees and leaked online by DDoSecrets, identified 750 gigabytes of files related to the war in Ukraine. The New York Times has verified the documents.

On Feb. 24, the day of the invasion, the FSB sent emails to state media calling them “colleagues” and claiming that Ukrainian soldiers were abandoning their posts. In March, the FSB sent dossiers about two Ukrainian officers killed in combat, making unverifiable claims that they had killed civilians and were terrorists. In the email, the security service said not to attribute the information to the FSB, orders that were followed in the ensuing broadcast.

After the March bombing of a theater in Mariupol, the military sent an email to VGTRK and other state media with the subject “Important!” It provided a video of a woman who said members of a Ukrainian nationalist group had blown up the theater, not the Russian military. “Please use in stories,” the note said.

According to the newspaper, the correspondence also showed that the Russian state media have been using quotes from conservative Western media outlets like Fox News and the Daily Caller while talking about how sanctions were backfiring against the United States.

Furthermore, they reworked reports from Chinese state media, as well as videos from obscure social media accounts on Telegram and YouTube, conveying the image of China being at Russia’s side, backing a "just war" in Ukraine.

VGTRK did not respond to the NYT request for comment.

As IMI reported, the National Police of Ukraine said that reports of a fire at an "invincibility point" in Kyiv is a Russian fake.

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