Despite sanctions, a plummeting economy, and isolation from the world as a result of its actions in Ukraine, a wave of patriotic fervor is spreading across Russia. Thousands of Russians have attended rallies in support of President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity ratings remain sky-high, while voices of the opposition are increasingly stifled.
On the streets and in the media, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on power. State-controlled television channels spin facts to bolster the government line, whipping up anti-Western sentiment and paranoia about internal enemies. Independent broadcasters are struggling to make themselves heard as the country grows more dangerous for journalists and popular figures who are critical of the authorities.
In the concluding part of our two-part series, VICE News investigates how the Kremlin uses state-controlled television to manipulate public opinion and whip up anti-Western sentiment, giving rise to a far-right nationalist movement, while narrowing the media landscape, and silencing — sometimes violently — dissenting points of view.
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