Social Media and Russian Civil Society

One of the reasons that Vladimir Putin has managed to secure such a strong following in Russia has been the state’s control of most television news. Under Putin, TV news is, in the words of former Moscow correspondent David Remnick, “exquisitely monitored and unwatchably bland.” The Russian state directly or indirectly controls all three of Russia’s national channels. Eighty-five percent of Russians use TV as their primary news source, yet only 17 percent believe TV provides a complete and objective picture of the world, and 63 percent believe it is censored by the government. The most popular newspapers also tow the Kremlin’s line.

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