Determined to cut off support for Ukraine in its ongoing self-defense against Russian aggression, the Kremlin has issued a series of threats against the West, which have been reinforced and repeated by the accommodating state media. But instead of getting NATO to pull out, this strategy appears to be causing some sort of domestic damage, as masses of ordinary Russians fear the idea of impending nuclear war being pushed by propagandists. It seems that even the most committed propagandists are now alarmed at the side effects of the Kremlin’s fear tactics.
The state television program for Thursday, The evening with Vladimir Solovyov, began with familiar rhetoric, but encountered unexpected resistance. The host, Vladimir Solovyov, scolded and enthusiastically threatened the West: “I’m so sick of them! Constantly reading what comes to their minds next, like their new sanctions lists, and thinking, ‘Guys, I’m fed up with you guys!’”
Solovyov, who lost his multi-million dollar villas in Italy to Western sanctions, bitterly complained about the rising costs of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead of suggesting that Russian troops pull out of their neighbor’s territory, the state TV host followed what appeared to be officially sanctioned rhetoric and promoted the idea of an unprecedented escalation.
“I don’t mind when incompetent people try to rule the world, but it irritates me when they are so nervous. If you want war with us, then declare war so we can start swinging!” he roared. The host threatened retaliation for the expected damage that could be done to Russian assets by the advanced weapons systems to be shipped to Ukraine, citing statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Deputy Security Council Chairman Dmitry Medvedev. Solovyov narrated: “Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] clearly stated and Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] Clearly, we will attack the decision-making centers – and they are not in Kyiv.” Solovyov’s message matched the common theme on Russian state television: Nuclear war is imminent, but dying for the fatherland is the best way.
But there was one pundit at the studio who was clearly fed up with the scaremongering — and he made it known. When it was his turn to speak, political scientist Sergei Mikheiev could not contain his anger. “There is a flood of information, including in our mainstream media, about how scary and terrible everything is. About 500 times a day, on every channel, on every talk show, they talk about how many more guns are being shipped, how scary they are,” he fumed.
In a rare instance of transparency on Russian state television, Mikheyev admitted that he believes the shift in public opinion has destabilized the whole country. “Working with public opinion is crucial because stability in the country depends on the stability of public opinion. Public opinion just hears about the characteristics of foreign weapons day after night, they don’t understand what’s going to happen next,” he said, “they tell us: ‘Terrible weapons are coming over there, they’re coming and coming. she [Ukraine] promised not to use them in a certain way, but will most likely do it anyway – and that will lead to World War III. Then it says: ‘Calm down, comrades, everything will be fine. Don’t worry, there’s nothing to worry about.’”
Solovyov had claimed that Russia could “spit” on the weapons provided to Ukraine for self-defense against Russian aggression and boasted of more advanced weapons specially made for a future confrontation with NATO. “We expected it,” Solovyov said. “Everyone understood that after we destroyed all weapons of Ukraine – which happened a long time ago, we destroyed all weapons made in the Soviet Union – the time has come to demilitarize NATO.”
“What is that? Is this normal practice? Is that how you work with public opinion? People worry.”
The presenter flippantly told the audience, “Just calm down. Our boys do their job. You’re doing it right. All the hysteria in the West confirms that we are getting closer to our goal. Of course we want it to go faster, but how could we leave our flanks unprotected? We cannot expose Kaliningrad or the border with Finland. We understand: our next operation could be a war with NATO.”
Mikheyev also challenged the hosts on this point. Complaining about the messages used by many prominent state media mouthpieces, the pundit remarked with visible annoyance: “It’s rolling in: These will broadcast [weapons] and so others go on and on; You will most likely try to use them. The common man asks, “What happens next?” and the answer is: “Be quiet, comrades. Next comes World War III. Keep working, don’t worry about anything, mind your business. The nuclear war is coming. That’s all.’
Mikheyev stared at Solovyov and asked: “What is this? Is this normal practice? Is that how you work with public opinion? I think that’s something to think about… People worry. Realistically, we have a large number of people who are very concerned about this.”
Unconvinced, the host immediately dismissed the political scientist’s concerns about maintaining a degree of sanity to protect public opinion. Instead, Solovyov chose to follow the official guidelines for messaging to the masses. He defiantly replied, “And if we think about it, there will be nuclear war.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-state-tvs-vladimir-solovyov-humiliated-by-fed-up-guest-on-his-own-show?source=articles&via=rss Vladimir Solovyov from Russian state television is humiliated by a weary guest on his own show