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The chapter deals with the difficult topic of media and normalised mendacity in Russia. Russia has been instrumental in creating our global post-truth age. The chapter discusses the phenomenon of Russia’s ‘normalisation of lying’ as a political tool that helps it to resolve conflicts and reconcile irreconcilables. The Putin regime has been particularly adept at utilising lies and fake news to silence dissent and destabilise western values. The Ukraine crisis is a case in point: a ‘colour revolution’ prevented from seeping across the border into Russia by inflammatory lies about Ukraine as a fascist, neo-Nazi, bandit state. These methods have not come out of the blue: they have been exercised by Russia’s rulers and ruled for centuries to adjust to autocratic and totalitarian rule. Has Russia succeeded in pushing Trump and other demagogic leaders to copy its methods? Certainly when Kellyanne Conway famously spoke of ‘alternative facts’ we can’t but observe similarities to Orwellian contradictions in Russia’s politics, such as its definition of itself as a ‘managed democracy.’
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- Post-truth and Normalised Lies in Russia