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ISW: Putin unable to immediately fix control over Russia's information sphere

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 12, 2023 4:37 AM 1 min read
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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on March 11 that there is infighting in the Kremlin's inner circle, and that the Kremlin has effectively ceded control over the country's information space.

Speaking at a forum on the “practical and technological aspects of information and cognitive warfare in modern realities” in Moscow, Zakharova mentioned that despite fighting among unspecified Kremlin “elites," the Kremlin cannot replicate the Stalinist approach of establishing a modern equivalent to the Soviet Information Bureau.

The Institute for the Study of War said Zakharova’s statement is "noteworthy" and supports several of ISW’s longstanding assessments about the deteriorating Kremlin regime and information space control dynamics.

The statement supports several assessments: that there is infighting between key members of Putin’s inner circle; that Putin has primarily ceded the Russian information space over time to a variety of quasi-independent actors; and that Putin is apparently unable to take decisive action to regain control over the Russian information space.

"It is unclear why Zakharova — a seasoned senior spokesperson — would have openly acknowledged these problems in a public setting," the ISW said in their March 11 assessment. "Zakharova may have directly discussed these problems for the first time to temper Russian nationalist military bloggers’ expectations regarding the current capabilities of the Kremlin to cohere around a unified narrative — or possibly even a unified policy."

Fire reported at Russian propaganda channel in Moscow

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