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Podcast: Head Games

Sometimes, disinformation is more than just disinformation. Sometimes, propaganda is more than just propaganda. Sometimes lies are more than just lies.

Sometimes -- when the disinformation, propaganda, and lies are accompanied by fast-moving montages, disturbing images, and an ominous soundtrack -- something more nefarious is going on.

A recent report by BBC Monitoring suggested that "Russian state TV's coverage of the conflict in Ukraine does not simply contain one-sided and often misleading propaganda. It also appears to employ techniques of psychological conditioning designed to excite extreme emotions of aggression and hatred in the viewer."

And it appears to be working.

On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, we examine whether Russia is moving beyond run-of-the-mill propaganda into something more sinister. Joining me are Peter Pomerantsev, author or the recently published book Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, and journalist and Kremlin-watcher Ben Judah, author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin.

Also on the podcast, Peter, Ben, and I discuss the recent Franco-German push for a cease-fire in Ukraine.


Podcast: Head Games
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About This Blog

The Power Vertical
The Power Vertical

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or


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