Propaganda Addiction: How Russians Learn to Trust Kremlin Falsehoods
When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the world was shocked to learn how often Russians fell for the Kremlin’s pro-war propaganda pushed through loyal state media. Some citizens even trusted television reports more than they believed their own family members in Ukraine. In his talk, Dr. Shirikov will explain how authoritarian media can gain and cultivate such public trust, presenting evidence from surveys and experiments he conducted in Russia in recent years. He will discuss whether Russians are–as scholars often think–sophisticated and discerning news consumers, why they find propaganda messages credible, and why so few of them seek alternative information sources. This research offers insights into how Vladimir Putin’s regime manages public opinion and maintains acceptance of the war.