Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian government’s very own mouthpiece newspaper, has purchased itself a nice big supplement section in the British newspaper the Telegraph called “Russia Now.” (This supplement has been running for quite a long time, Andy at Siberian Light informs us. My bad!) So far I’ve read some carefully worded pieces on the “cautious expectations” of U.S.-Russia relations, Medvedev’s “readiness” to hear complaints on human rights, and the scary events in Moldova (but they couldn’t help but lob a few attacks at Natalia Morar – whose investigative reports at the New Times led to her exile).
Reading these kinds of supplements – I recall one that used to run inthe Washington Post – we’re not seeing the same kind of propaganda fedto citizens inside Russia about the evils of the outside world,but rather the best attempt put forward to present Russia’s liberalface. Indeed, the front cover of Russia Now would lead one to concludethat despite some hiccups here and there, Russia is a normal country,one of regular process, rule of law, where everything that happens hasa logical, rational explanation.
Other than perhaps promoteits image for tourism and foreign investment, I can’t imagine why elsethe Russian government would spend so much money on something if itwere true – but it seems that buying your own good news doesn’t make the bad news go away.