In a documentary Ligne Rouge broadcast this Monday, BFMTV presents some of Vladimir Putin’s main propagandists. Actors of the media and protagonist of the Kremlin, they lead, each in their own way, an information war.
They are at the forefront of Russia’s information war against Ukraine and the Western world. Some are television stars, such as Margarita Simonian, who calls herself an “information soldier”, or Vladimir Soloviev, known for his violent anti-Western diatribes. Others, in the shadows, pull the strings of the media, such as the very secretive Alexei Gromov, adviser to the Russian president.
Margarita Simonian is the editor-in-chief of the television channel RT (Russia Today). The French branch of the chain announced its closure in January, following European sanctions leading to a freezing of its assets.
RT is “under the permanent control, direct or indirect, of the authorities of the Russian Federation” and carries out “actions of disinformation and manipulation of information against the EU and its Member States”, says the Council of the EU in a press release from March 2022. In Russia, the channel is notably run by Margarita Simonian. The editor is one of Putin’s “main propaganda faces”, according to the US Secretary of State.
“She is always very eager to show that she is the most loyal soldier”, comments Alexey Kovalev, head of the investigation department of the Russian-language media Meduza, in our documentary Ligne Rouge broadcast on Monday.
Vladimir Solovyov, the “Crazy King”
Another face of Russian propaganda that has been well known since the start of the war in Ukraine is that of Vladimir Solovyov. The virulently-spoken TV and radio presenter does not hesitate to launch into threatening diatribes. In January, for example, he said that “preventive strikes against France” should be carried out because of the military equipment it supplies to Ukraine.
“He is someone who is there to play this role of madman of the tsar, of madman of the king, who will test even more radical ideas”, explains Francoise Dauce, director of studies at the EHESS specialist in Russian worlds. and Caucasian.
The technique is as follows: “we utter enormities and we see how people react”, supports the historian and journalist Galia Ackerman, author of Vladimir Putin’s Black Book.
The Shadow Man: Alexei Gromov
Another, lesser-known man is also a key player in Kremlin propaganda: Alexei Gromov, Putin’s chief of staff, according to the Russian Presidency website.
According to Alexey Kovalev, he hosts a weekly meeting in the Kremlin with all the editors of state-owned newspapers and television channels. According to journalist Mikhail Roubin, who investigated Gromov, the latter is “the mastermind of all Russian propaganda”.
A documentary to see in its entirety on Monday June 19, 2023 at 8:50 p.m. on BFMTV, then in replay on RMC BFM Play. An investigation by Sandra Boulanger, with Quentin Baulier and Benoit Chevalier.
Source: BFM TV