Russian Propaganda Rags Still Land in U.S. Papers

The debate over the debate about Ketchum‘s placement of an aggressive Vladimir Putin New York Times op-ed continues this week, but there’s another side of the Putin’s PR offensive that we hadn’t heard of: it’s called Russia Beyond the Headlines, and it’s an English language propaganda rag that regular appears as a paid advertorial section inside American newspapers like the NYT and the Washington Post. Here’s what chess champion and democracy activist Gary Kasparov had to say about the latest edition:

He’s not big on subtlety, and neither is Beyond the Headlines. It’s a branch of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia’s official state publication, and it brings a mix of politics, op-eds and cultural reporting—all with a heavy pro-Putin slant—to foreign newspapers around the world under the tagline “Our News. Your Language.”

Here are our favorite recent headlines at a glance:

This isn’t your grandpa’s propaganda: most of what we’ve seen borders very lightly on snark. In fact, based on the Facebook comments on these stories, we’d say some Russians don’t think it goes far enough in glorifying Putin and his Federation.

We question the effectiveness of such publications given the fact that most Americans don’t read a physical newspaper and that even those geezers immediately discard the promotional sections. But it’s certainly an interesting glimpse into political PR from halfway around the world.