The West has lost the propaganda war, RIA Novosti declared in a recent article and Western countries are increasingly concerned that they cannot develop effective methods of countering increasingly effective Russian propaganda.

RIA Novosti bases its claim on an interview with French information strategist François-Bernard Huyghe in the French online journal Atlantico, much of which is inaccurately translated into Russian.

Website screenshot RIA Novosti
Website screenshot RIA Novosti

“Lately some new methods of counteracting Kremlin’s campaigns have appeared («très peu de méthodes nouvelles pour contrer les campagnes du Kremlin ont vu le jour») is a phrase that is highlighted in the introduction to the Huyghe interview, RIA Novosti however, turns the phrase into a claim on the West losing the propaganda war.

Website screenshot  Atlantico
Website screenshot Atlantico

RIA Novosti then goes on to say that “Europeans are treating their own media with increasing skepticism while at the same time becoming more receptive to news that “glorifies Russia”.

In fact, what François-Bernard Huyghe actually says is that it is the Russians who have become more receptive to the glorification of Russia, and not the Europeans.

Huyghe states that Russian opinion polls show that Russians strongly support their national television and nationalist news that glorifies Russia ( «les sondages russes montrent une très forte adhésion de la population russe à la télé nationale et aux nouvelles nationalistes qui exaltent la patrie russe »).. RIA Novosti completely omits this salient point from their story.

RIA Novosti also claims that Western countries haven’t abandoned their attempts to confront the growing influence of Russia’s information onslaught, although they are not particularly successful in this effort.

What François-Bernard Huyghe actually said was that although not a great deal has been done to answer the Russia’s propaganda outreach, the issue is very much in the public discussion and series of actions and decisions of the European Commission are aimed at counteracting Russian propaganda.

Website screenshot
Website screenshot