What do I think?
Great public relations sent from Russia over the past few decades have been working well.
Masters of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays
Also, cult of personality. Putin is a showman anytime the camera is on and he plays the part well. Hard not to adore him at some level, even though it’s his projected image we’re adoring.
He knows the camera’s on him and he plays up to the future audience perfectly. Just look how relatable he is here: he knows what he’s doing and who he’s doing it for: a show of “I’m just like you if you were here in my place”. People respond positively to that.
I do but it was subtle, “snowball rolling down hills and gathering more snow” ways.
I’d notice it in various social networks. Someone would engage in debate with me about politics. At some point, I find out they’re not American but Russian. [I then berate them for getting involved in US Politics]. I can’t count the number of times because I wasn’t keeping track, but it was oddly frequent. Why so many Russians involved in US politics? So, personal experience Take it with a grain of salt but that’s one.
Also, I can remember a few years ago seeing videos about a common part-time job, similar to telemarketers in the USA, low-paying, high turnover but easy to get in a few major Russian cities where you’re paid to engage in social media about whatever the assigned task is.
[it actually sounds like a fun job tbh]
So, they exist.
Were the purposes capitalistic? Political? No idea But influential? Definitely.
After a while, once you get the ideas set in peoples minds, the ideas move on their own with no further interference needed.
Russia’s a master at it. Of course America does it too but Russia does it better: in some ways,, all they really HAVE is image. Their economy has been in dire straits for a VERY long time now and their military runs thin, but they’re good at the show.
There are two narratives for Aleppo that I’ve found, with no inbetween yet:
a) the fall of Aleppo
b) the liberation of Aleppo