Support The Moscow Times!

Kremlin Guidelines for Media Coverage of Ukrainian Counteroffensive Leaked

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The Kremlin has issued a list of guidelines for Russia’s state media outlets on how to cover Ukraine's impending counteroffensive, the independent news outlet Meduza revealed on Tuesday.

The guidelines, which recommended emphasizing the fact that Ukraine is being armed by NATO while discouraging any suggestion that Kyiv is underprepared, appear aimed at giving Moscow the chance to spin any outcome of the expected counter-attack positively. 

"If Ukraine, with the help of weapons from the U.S. and Europe, is successful and occupies some territories, the [Russian] loss will be understandable: the entire West has concentrated huge efforts on the front, but its successes — in comparison to these efforts — are very modest," a source close to the Kremlin told Meduza.

However, if the Ukrainian counteroffensive fails, the Kremlin will be able to boast that the Russian army successfully managed to repel an attack by superior enemy forces, Meduza cited its sources as saying.

The Kremlin has apparently also told state media to avoid mentioning how much of the national budget has been earmarked for the restoration of infrastructure in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine, fearing its size could spark public resentment.

Instead, the Kremlin is recommending state media outlets focus on more relatable reconstruction projects, such as how "problems are being solved" and how schools, kindergartens, and hospitals in Russian-occupied Ukraine are being rebuilt. 

In addition, the Kremlin has requested that "less fuss” be made over this year’s preparations for May 9, the country’s annual holiday to mark the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Multiple Russian regions have already called off their Victory Day parades this year citing security reasons, while the authorities in Moscow have made the unprecedented decision to ban access to Red Square, where President Vladimir Putin will attend the May 9 parade, for two weeks ahead of the Victory Day celebrations.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more