Putin left red-faced as Russian audience growing tired with Kremlin’s pro-war propaganda

Putin will ‘play his last card against UK’ says political analyst

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A new survey suggested that Russian TV is boring viewers, with a quarter of them switching off. The Moscow Times quoted a survey by the independent Rosmir polling centre which found that only 65 percent of respondents said that they now watched Russian state-run TV stations, down from 86 percent at the start of the war.

The Kremlin relies on state media to shape public opinion in Russia.

State-produced news and analysis programmes on the government-linked Channel-1, Rossiya-1 and NT TV channels broadcast a barrage of propaganda and the main presenters, like Kremlin favourite Vladimir Solovyov, have become household names.

It’s not unusual for the TV analysts to veer into racist diatribes, calling Ukrainians “sub-humans”.

Analysts and commentators who appear on Russian state TV are all resolutely pro-Kremlin and pro-war.

There is generally no debate during broadcasts save for criticism that the Kremlin is being too soft on Ukraine.

It’s not unusual to hear the analysts, generally professors or journalists or retired military officers, talking up the prospect of bombing Britain for its support for Ukraine.

But although the Kremlin may consider this to be a winning strategy, it has never had to maintain its iron grip over the TV schedule for such a sustained period and it seems to be wearing thin.

Genuinely popular TV personalities such as talk show host Ivan Urgant have quit Russia because of their disgruntlement with the war.

The problem now for the Kremlin is that if fewer people are watching their propaganda channels, support for Vladimir Putin’s war may ebb away.

There is some evidence of this in any case. Opinion polls now suggest only 55 percent of people in Russia saying that they are in favour of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, compared to 66 percent a few months ago.

This is partly because of general war fatigue that has set in and partly because Russia has become a more difficult place to live as a result of Western sanctions.

Another survey has said that the number of people dining out in Moscow restaurants has dropped to a five-month low because it has become too expensive and cinema owners have warned that without major state support, the sector is going to collapse.

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Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky has warned that a potential uptick in Russian shelling of Ukraine would not change Kyiv’s approach to the war, as Ukrainian retaliation would only get stronger in the future.

President Zelensky told reporters: “What will Ukraine do if Russia strikes Kyiv? The same as what we are doing now,”

“If they strike us in these cities, they will receive strikes in return, very powerful strikes in return. I want to say that these retaliatory strikes will grow every day and become more powerful.”

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