In the wake of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to the Oval Office last week, Russian state TV aired a segment titled “Puppet Master and ‘Agent’—How to Understand Lavrov’s Meeting With Trump”and characterized the visit as an example of President Trump being subservient to Russian interests. As The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis points out, “President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda brigades enjoy watching the heightened divisions in the United States, and how it hurts relations between the U.S. and Ukraine.”
That enjoyment manifested itself in the segment, which aired on the Russian Sunday news show Vesti Nedeli, where host Vladimir Soloviev quipped that Trump would have to seek refuge in Russia once he’s out of office.
“State-television news shows use every opportunity to demoralize the Ukrainians with a set of talking points based on the U.S. president’s distaste for their beleaguered country,” Davis writes before citing another state-funded TV show where the host boasted about the meeting between Trump and Lavrov to a Ukrainian panelist.
“There are no disagreements or contradictions between Trump and Russia,” said Valery Korovin, director of the Center for Geopolitical Expertise, appearing on the state-television channel Rossiya-24.
The Kremlin is even promoting the work of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. After Giuliani’s return to US from his “evidence gathering” trip to Ukraine, Russian state TV began airing clips of his OAN (One America News Network) “documentary,” which claims to provide evidence that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US election and that former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch of lied under oath to Congress “to whitewash [Joe] Biden’s corruption.”
“Giuliani’s efforts on behalf of President Trump are bound to pay propaganda dividends for the Kremlin,’ Davis writes.
“Putin has expressed undisguised delight with the crusade led by Trump and Giuliani to whitewash Moscow’s interference in the U.S. elections and pin the blame on Kyiv,” he continued, adding that
According to Davis, the emerging narrative from Russia propaganda outlets puts the “hypocrisy of the Republicans on full display.”
“The Kremlin, having argued for years that democracy is a sham and the West is devoid of morals and principles, can now showcase the GOP as its ‘Exhibit A.’”