While the rest of the world looks on in horror as Vladimir Putin’s war destroys Russia on fast-forward, chin rubbing military analysts note that Putin’s “Potemkim Reality” psy-ops (агитпроп) campaign has been remarkably successful.
- support for Putin is strongest among those who think its still 1983; support is also quite strong among those who have no access to the internet.
- support is weakest among those who are capable of logical thought and those who are sober.
Ukrainian-Russian psy-ops expert Mikhail Bulgakov explains:
Although the Russian people have been more or less been insulated from reality since the time of the Mongols, it wasn’t until Catherine the Great, that the government of Russia became pro-active about constructing realit, rather than being content to keep the populace ignorant. The lead on this project was Catherine’s Prime Minister, Potemkin, who built fake villages in order to demonstrate to Catherine that her people were prosperous.
It had the knock-on effect of demonstrating that the Russian aristocracy could have raised the standard of living of serfs but chose not to.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it, except nineteenth century aristocrats have been replaced by oligarchs and their bourgeois servants, and reality has been replaced by bad television and Rossgram; and Pugachev by Zelensky.
Disclaimer: this is a joke.