The government of Russian Federation annually spends near $1,4 billion for sophisticated propaganda machine functioning at home as well as abroad, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs of the US Department of State Benjamin Ziff told in his testimony before the Senate November 3.
“The Kremlin sponsors these efforts with a sophisticated $1.4 billion-a-year propaganda apparatus at home and abroad, which claims to reach 600 million people across 130 countries in 30 languages,” Ziff said.
In addition, according to Benjamin Ziff, Russian government also funds think tanks and outside organizations in its neighboring states aimed to “achieve its goals of promoting the Kremlin’s false narratives; portraying the West as a threat; and undermining trust in independent media as well as Western institutions and values”.
Despite the fact that such disinformation and obvious propagandistic statements, yet its 24/7 spreading around the world can implant doubts in minds, The Deputy Assistant Secretary noted.
“We have all heard popular Kremlin refrains asserting there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine; that Ukraine is on the verge of collapse; or Americans, and not corrupt leaders, are the cause of domestic discontent overseas. While many of these claims can easily be refuted, their around-the clock dissemination attempts to sow doubt, confusion, and suspicion and question even the most basic truths,” said in a testimony.
Benjamin Ziff noted that in the face of the Kremlin’s attack on the truth the best defense is a free flow of reliable, credible information. Therefore, State Department focused its efforts on “supporting independent media; improving access to high quality, objective information; exposing false narratives; and building the capacity of civil society”.
“After all, truth should be discovered, not dictated,” Benjamin Ziff stressed.