Report Reveals Kremlin’s Work to Shield Putin’s Ego from…
Aww. Did poor baby Putin’s feelings get hurt?
You know what they say: The bigger the bark, the smaller the bite.
This certainly appears to be true as it pertains to Russia, a nation long thought of as a military superpower capable of conquering untold lands with the snap of a finger. Today, that myth is shattering further week-by-week, and it’s pushing the Kremlin to make completely belligerent threats to the world at world in order to be taken seriously at all.
Much of this behavior appears to be tied to Vladimir Putin’s ego, and a new report appears to suggest that the Kremlin is taking extra care to keep the Russian Federation President’s feelings from getting hurt.
Russia’s federal media watchdog has a secret team of people tasked with protecting Vladimir Putin’s ego—and alerting the president’s spooks should there be any online mentions of him as a “bald dwarf,” Hitler wannabe, or a “thief.”
That’s according to the independent outlet iStories, one of several news organizations to reveal the surreal findings of a leak from Roskomnadzor this week. The agency was targeted by a group of Belarusian hackers late last year that said they had breached an internal network and made off with a ton of data from a division tasked with “regulating” the media. That data was subsequently handed over to independent Russian journalists who released their investigations this week.
Just how bad is it?
Among the most disturbing revelations is that staffers at the federal agency compile reports on all “negative publications” about Putin and use an internal messaging system to brief the presidential administration and Russia’s security services on all of the president’s critics.
Putin’s image is reportedly monitored almost around the clock, with staffers signing on at 8:30 every morning to look for any online chatter that could pose a threat to the Russian leader—including any memes that diminish his macho image, such as his face superimposed over the body of a crab, or the equally threatening declaration, “Putin is a crab.”
One report compiled following a visit by Putin to Kaliningrad focused obsessively on “negative reactions” on the Russian internet to the president’s dialogue with local residents, according to iStories. The censors honed in on complaints that Putin’s interactions with locals were a “cheap spectacle” and that the “locals” were likely just members of his security team in disguise.
The move is likely meant to prevent Russians from finally rising up against the Kremlin, as tensions continue to simmer in-country in regard to the invasion of Ukraine.
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