The airwaves have since been filled with conspiracy theories that put the United States at the center of nightmarish plots to destroy Russian culture and piss on the ruble. Confidence in the rest of the world is constantly questioned, while Putin is always portrayed as the underdog just trying to get his scrappy country back on its feet, but these big ol' meanies like NATO and the EU and America don't want Russians to want him to succeed. Truth is not the goal. A distrust of all sources other than his own is the endgame.
Don't think he's only spreading his propaganda on old media like an out-of-touch grandpa; Putin is totally hip and down with the kids! He's got his own army of internet trolls, who spread Kremlin-approved messages of hate and misinformation across the globe though their hundreds of social media accounts. Their sole purpose is to create the illusion that public opinion is firmly in Putin's favor. They've whipped up hatred and paranoia in the Baltic States that Putin wants to invade so badly he gets blue balls just thinking about it. They've been on a crusade to defame Germany's Angela Merkel, and during the 2016 presidential election here in America, they were all pro-Donald-Trump. In fact, the guy who wrote the massive New York Times expose about Russia's troll army noticed a lot of Russian troll accounts switching it up from pro-Russian to exclusively pro-Trump.
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