June 7, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10003

Russian Editorial: When Russian And Western Elites Collide, 'Information Is Usually Replaced By Propaganda; Patient Discussion Is Replaced By Bias And Hatred'

June 7, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10003

In what by today's standards can be viewed as a courageous editorial, the Russian newspaper Nyezavisamaya Gazeta decried the current climate of opinion when even minor criticism voiced by regime loyalists is immediately slapped down by the authorities as whining and eroding the war effort. Russians are denied a true picture of the loss of life and materiel in the special operation. The editorial cushions the criticism by claiming that the West and the Ukrainian leadership is equally guilty of taking an uncompromising attitude to what has become an existential conflict to both sides:

The editorial follows below:[1]

In video conference Vladimir Putin dresses down Kaliningrad governor (Anton Alikhanov)

"The Special Military Operation (SMO) has led to an intensified Russo-Western propaganda standoff.

"The 'rah-rah-patriotic' sentiments, the assessments, and forecasts by numerous experts on both sides of the conflict are mainly aimed at 'their [home]'audience. 'Their [home]'audience differs from the usual one, thus creating an initial demand for optimism, propaganda, and confidence, rather than for grief, discussion, and truth. Under such conditions, it’s extremely difficult to get a realistic idea of the true state of affairs in politics, economics, and society, and most importantly, in what direction events are moving and at what pace. Opponents broadcast in mirror-like fashion their own optimism and predictions for an early and, most importantly, a complete victory on all fronts. They argue fiercely on our side and theirs.

"Andrei Klishas, head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, claimed that import substitution in Russia exists only in the virtuoso reports of industry agencies, while in reality the import substitution program is a complete failure."

Andrei Klishas (Source:

Klishas is a reputable senator, it’s enough to recall at least his role in the constitutional [amendment] process. Thus, he seemingly is not in the habit of throwing words around. But Dmitry Peskov was quick to scold Klishas, 'One can hardly agree argue that the whole thing has been a bust. It’s true that there are unfulfilled plans. We don’t live and work in ideal conditions, the conditions, on the contrary, are rough.' Peskov added that there is a lot to be done, however such work should be done in emergency mode, not in the usual way. The emergency situation was after all recognized as the reality.

Another example. A few weeks ago, Federation Council Speaker, Valentina Matvienko publicly expressed surprise that Russia, a major producer and exporter of metals, is forced to import nails. The Ministry of Industry and Trade quickly contradicted her by saying that Russia produces enough nails for domestic consumption and supplies them to the CIS member-states. The 'upbraided' Klishas and Matvienko, didn’t insist that they were right.

During a meeting with the president held last Friday via tele-conference, the governor of the Kaliningrad Oblast, Anton Alikhanov attributed a decline in construction to supply problems that arose due to sanctions introduced after the beginning of the operation.

Anton Alikhanov (Source:

'One shouldn’t invoke our special military operation in this case,' said Putin, 'You did so, but it shouldn’t be done, because you recorded a downturn already back in 2020-2021. There was a noticeable drop in construction. Therefore, the special military operation in Donbass has absolutely nothing to do with it.'

"The president stressed that such a 'reference was, to put it bluntly, not very appropriate.' 'Now, naturally, additional difficulties have arisen. And this is understandable. But, as I said, (in the Kaliningrad Oblast. – 'NG') a 48.9% decline in construction was recorded in 2020-2021,'summarized Putin.

"Obviously, the Kremlin attaches great importance to the formation of a dominant domestic narrative regarding social and economic problems caused by, revealed by, or coinciding with the special military operation. And by its rapid and harsh reaction to the judgement of Klishas and Alikhanov, the Kremlin sent a signal to the entire power vertical, 'you need to work, and do not seek excuses in the special military operation for your shortcomings and failures, especially given Putin’s personal role in the February 24 decision.'

"Naturally, the average citizen remains unawares about the true situation with import substitution and the construction downturn. That is because, as people say, one cannot via whining and skepticism erode the nation's moral unity and fighting spirit. It appears that precisely for these reasons we are not provided regularly with information about losses in personnel and equipment. It’s the wrong moment...

"The allocation of 40 billion USD by the Americans to Ukraine under the Lend-Lease framework, 18.7 billion Euros provided by the EU and 1.3 billion pounds provided by the UK for military aid to Kiev put the rivals of Moscow in an optimistic mood. They claim that with such funding everything will soon go completely differently.

"Our sources in Moscow argue that nobody has resolved the issue of territorial decommunization of Ukraine and territories adjacent to the Black Sea will be removed from Kyiv’s jurisdiction along with the Lenin monuments. This doesn’t bode well for a quick conclusion to the conflict and increases the level of systemic uncertainty.

"The US and Britain, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell and NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg crave a victory for Ukraine solely on the battlefield. No diplomacy, no agreements, no concessions. Today one gets the impression that Volodymyr Zelenskyy unequivocally adheres to this very position. And he doesn’t like high level Italian and French proposals about the need to seek some kind of compromise with Moscow.

"It’s clear that various elite groups in the world, and in Russia as well pursue their own goals and have ideas about the final and desired results of the special operation. Information is usually replaced by propaganda; patient discussion is replaced by bias and hatred. The masses have so far obediently followed the dominant narrative of good and evil. The authorities' hands are unfettered to insist on their own interpretation of this collision.

"The strategic result and consequences of the special military operation aren’t clear in detail or in general terms. The Russo-Western elites’ confrontation is, quite clearly, existential in nature, uncompromising.

"This is what is alarming..."


[1], May 22, 2022.

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