By just about every analysis available, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has not been going quite to plan. Fierce resistance, mass condemnation on both a global and local scale, plus a cavalcade of tactical snafus have turned what was expected to be a lopsided win for a global superpower into a bloody quagmire between a massive force and a defiantly entrenched national movement.
While both Ukraine and Russia have done their best to exploit the fog of war for their own propaganda purposes — sharing dramatic footage and posturing on camera in shows of strength — a newly leaked Kremlin memo shows one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s more insidious vectors for mis/disinformation: one of America’s most watched, most overtly racist mainstream cable news broadcasters, Tucker Carlson.
“It is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who sharply criticizes the actions of the United States [and] NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries and NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally,” the document, dispersed from the Kremlin to Russia-friendly media outlets and obtained by Mother Jones, explains.
“Russia is only protecting its interests and security,” it continued.
Per Mother Jones, Carlson, who has long bolstered his penchant for domestic authoritarianism with an equally zealous defense of global ultra-nationalism — particularly in regards to Russia and Ukraine — is the only Western journalist referred to by name in the memo, which was sent out from the Kremlin’s Department of Information and Telecommunications Support earlier this month.
Even before the Russian memo was leaked to Mother Jones, Carlson’s initial support for Russia’s invasion — and his subsequent pivot away from overt pro-Kremlin talking points to placing the blame for this particular conflict on President Biden — had already been called out as being a “word for word” recitation of Kremlin propaganda. Now, it seems, there’s definitive proof that Russia thinks so too.