‘Anonymous International’ Leaks Kremlin's Instructions to Russian TV

Pulling back the curtain on Putin's propaganda machine. Images mixed by author.

Pulling back the curtain on Putin's propaganda machine. Images mixed by author.

A Russian Internet group called “Anonymous International” has leaked what it claims is a “tyomnik”—a list of prepackaged news stories prepared by the Kremlin for Russia’s central television news stations. The group does not name its source for the document, but the whistleblower says Vladimir Putin’s administration is the author.

The tyomnik (see below for a translation of the first two sections) instructs TV journalists to justify Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea, to laud President Putin’s efforts to develop the region, and even to advertise Crimea’s tourist season, on which the local economy desperately relies. (Russian journalist Ilya Barabanov joked that the talking points for Crimean vacations—“nearby, safe, among our own people”—are oddly similar to the slogan for the Sochi Olympics: “hot, cool, yours.”) The document also coaches television news stations to propagate an apocalyptic description of events in the Ukrainian heartland, where criminals and fascists supposedly run wild.

Russian television has long been infamous for parroting the Kremlin on political issues. It is still rare, however, that the public glimpses this propaganda system’s internal workings. If Anonymous International’s leak is genuine, Russians are getting to peek behind the curtain today.

The first page of Anonymous International's “tyomnik” leak.

Тема – Крым

1. Следует разъяснять, что за 23 года нахождения в составе независимой Украины Крым по вине киевских властей в основном деградировал. Цель российской власти сейчас – обеспечить становление новой жизни на полуострове, привести Крым к общероссийским стандартам в качестве жизни.
Разгрести “авгиевы конюшни”, оставленные украинской властью, в одночасье не получится; но работа в этом направлении ведется, и результаты крымчане будут ощущать ежедневно.
На прошлой неделе по поручению В.В.Путина Крым и Севастополь посетил ряд министров силового блока. На следующей неделе ожидается поездка ряда других членов кабинета.

2. Просьба активно включиться в работу по пропаганде летнего отдыха в Крыму: близко, безопасно, у своих.

Topic — Crimea

Main points
1. It should be clarified that 23 years within an independent Ukraine largely degraded Crimea, and the authorities in Kiev are to blame. The goal of Russian authorities now is ensuring the emergence of a new life on the peninsula, bringing Crimea up to Russia’s national standards of quality of life.

Cleaning the Augean stables left by Ukrainian authorities cannot be accomplished overnight, but the work is underway, and Crimeans will be seeing it every day.

By order of Vladimir Putin, a number of key ministers will visit Crimea and Sevastopol. Next week, several other members of the cabinet are expected to make the trip, as well.

2. Please make an active effort in your work to promote the summer vacation season in Crimea: it’s nearby, safe, among our own people [“у своих”].

Тема – Украина

Основные линии информационной работы:
– атмосфера беззакония, нарастающий хаос: нацисты на ключевых государственных постах, МВД парализовано страхом (все грозные слова после гибели А.Музычко остались только словами), разгул криминала, дуреющего от собственной безнаказанности, рост преступности под видом “майдана”;
– экономика катится в пропасть: денег как не было, так и нет; объявлены уже в самом ближайшем будущем рост тарифов, снижение социальных выплат и секвестр бюджета;
– на этом фоне особенно цинично выглядит нарастающая грызня за власть.

Topic — Ukraine

The bottom line for informational work:
– there is an atmosphere of lawlessness and growing chaos: nazis occupy key government posts, the Interior Ministry is paralyzed by fear (all the tough talk after the death of [Right Sector general] Aleksandr Muzychko has remained only words), crime is rampant, stupefied by its own impunity, and rising under the guise of “Maidan” activism;
– the economy is spinning out of control: money that was drying up before [Maidan] is still absent; a rise in taxes in the very near future has been announced, along with cuts to welfare benefits and a government budget sequester;
– in this context, bickering over power looks especially cynical.


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