The Russian journalist refusing to be silenced -

29 May, Monday

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The Russian journalist refusing to be silenced

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The Russian authorities may have shut down his newspaper, but journalist Dmitry Muratov refuses to be silenced.
Ednews s citing BBC that when we meet in Moscow, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta and Russia's Nobel Peace Prize laureate is worried how far the Kremlin will go in its confrontation with the West.
"Two generations have lived without the threat of nuclear war," Mr Muratov tells me. "But this period is over. Will Putin press the nuclear button, or won't he? Who knows? No one knows this. There isn't a single person who can say for sure."
Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow's nuclear sabre-rattling has been loud and frequent.
Senior officials have dropped unsubtle hints that Western nations arming Ukraine should not push Russia too far. A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Then one of his closest aides, Nikolai Patrushev, warned that Russia had a "modern unique weapon capable of destroying any enemy, including the United States".
Bluff and bluster? Or a threat that needs to be taken seriously? Mr Muratov has picked up worrying signs inside Russia.
"We see how state propaganda is preparing people to think that nuclear war isn't a bad thing," he says. "On TV channels here, nuclear war and nuclear weapons are promoted as if they're advertising pet food."
"They announce: 'We've got this missile, that missile, another kind of missile.' They talk about targeting Britain and France; about sparking a nuclear tsunami that washes away America. Why do they say this? So that people here are ready."
On Russian state TV recently, a prominent talk-show host suggested that Russia "should declare any military target on the territory of France, Poland and the United Kingdom a legitimate target for [Russia]".
The same presenter has also suggested "flattening an island with strategic nuclear weapons and carrying out a test launch or firing of tactical nuclear weapons, so that no one has any illusions".
Yet state propaganda here portrays Russia as a country of peace, and Ukraine and the West as the aggressors. Many Russians believe it.
"People in Russia have been irradiated by propaganda," Mr Muratov says. "Propaganda is a type of radiation. Everyone is susceptible to it, not just Russians. In Russia, propaganda is twelve TV channels, tens of thousands of newspapers, social media like VK [the Russian version of Facebook] that serves completely the state ideology."

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