Russian state media won’t stop complaining about the grueling costs of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine

The Russian state media has descended into a seemingly endless moaning about unprecedented Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, while dishing out distractions and glee to convince ordinary Russians that Americans are even worse off.

During the airing of the state television program on Tuesday 60 minutesreferring to the lack of baby food in the US with a malicious scowl, host Evgeny Popov said: “American children have nothing to eat.” Journalist Andrei Sidorchik responded with an even uglier diatribe: “Meanwhile, Ukrainian children are being delivered missiles and bombs that are somehow supposed to secure their future… They will have no fathers, no homes, their country will burned out, they won’t have anything that American kids have.” Popov countered, “But they will have McDonald’s!”

When Russia’s own problems are discussed, the mood in the Kremlin-controlled TV studios is far from cheerful – in part because the state media mouthpieces were so wrong in their earlier predictions about the war’s impact on Russia. As Putin plotted his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, his top propagandists tilled the soil of public opinion, assuring citizens that the war would be quick and relatively painless. In January, TASS published an op-ed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who claimed that Russia is not afraid of sanctions because “we are quite big and quite self-sufficient to be harmed by these sanctions.” He claimed that sanctions are even beneficial for the Russian economy: “To some extent we try to use it for the development of our domestic economy, our domestic production.”

Appearance on the state television show in mid-February The evening with Vladimir Solovyov, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan boasted: “McCain is dead, Obama is gone, Putin is still here.” they do to us ? What did they do to us after Crimea? Where is our ‘economy in tatters’?”

In a case of “be careful what you wish for,” Russia’s war has been met with a barrage of punitive sanctions. While the Kremlin has consistently maintained that the sanctions are ineffective, these denials simply mean that President Vladimir Putin’s regime has no intention of changing course. Meanwhile, the restrictions are hitting Russia’s flagging economy, which has already been eroded by decades of corruption and mismanagement.

A major problem plaguing the Kremlin is the lack of powerful computer chips due to the Western ban on semiconductor exports to Russia. Advanced semiconductors power critical battlefield systems, and without them, the combat capability of the Russian military will be severely undermined. Frustration at Russia’s current impotence to secure its own chip manufacturing spills even into the tightly controlled state media environment.

On Tuesdays 60 minutes, host Popov shot down proposals of experts that Russia can quickly organize its own production of semiconductors. “A factory making semiconductors would cost us $20 billion to $30 billion… It’s pretty clear we can’t build it quickly. We have to look for them in foreign markets. It’s utopia for us to suggest that we could make them here,” Popov said.

Vladimir Avatkov of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy gave a sunny – albeit Orwellian – outlook: “In the non-Western world, they look to us with hopeful expectation. They are waiting for the time when Russia can actively include and attract others to its new security architecture.” Even a seasoned propagandist like Popov seemed horrified by the delusional prognosis and snidely asked: “They are waiting to join us even though we don’t have a Visa , Mastercard, iPhone or McDonald’s?”

As Russia wages war and promises peace, concerns about bottlenecks caused by sanctions continue to trickle through in the state media. Russian soldiers are reportedly buying supplies and equipment at their own expense, state media propagandists say crowdfunding buying drones – and ordinary citizens sending toilet paper to the Russian troops. Last week, Deputy Speaker of the Russian Duma Pyotr Tolstoy boasted 60 minutes: “Do you know what our voters are doing? They buy packets of toilet paper… and bring it to us for us to send to our soldiers.”

In order to free itself from the chains of relentless sanctions, Russia resorts to blackmail worldwide. Putin’s state media is trying to twist the looming food crisis caused by Russia’s war to the Kremlin’s advantage. In April, RIA Novosti published an article about the frightening prospect of global hunger entitled: “Russia has a weapon against the West more frightening than missiles.” Russia is blocking Ukraine from using its main ports on the Black and Azov Seas , affecting the country’s extensive grain exports.

“This is just the beginning of the fight.”

On Wednesday, the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as responding to Western appeals to unblock Ukraine’s ports by calling for the lifting of sanctions on Russia’s financial sector and the country’s exports. While Ukraine’s grain is prevented from reaching its recipients, the mouthpieces of the Kremlin’s state media portray the approaching crisis as a mere “market competition” that Russia intends to win. During last week’s broadcast The evening with Vladimir SolovyovSimonyan boasted that unlike India and the United States, Russia had no drought and would not experience food shortages. She added that Moscow could choose to share or sell its extensive food supplies, but only with those who are “nice” towards Russia.

In another session of state media on Tuesday, Yuri Afonin, a senior Communist Party figure, made a grim prognosis: “The West is ready to fight us to the end… How can we respond? Only with a sovereign economy, the reconstruction of our economy. Yes, there are people – luckily there are fewer and fewer – who hope that everything will calm down, calm down and return to normal. You have to understand that this will never happen,” he said 60 minutes on Tuesday.

Host Popov complained: “They offer us the 90s, they want to humiliate us, they want hunger, unemployment, technological underdevelopment.” Afonin replied: “Unfortunately, there is no end in sight. This is just the beginning of the fight.” Russian state media won’t stop complaining about the grueling costs of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine


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