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The Roundtable: How Long Can the Kremlin Maintain an Information Blackout?

Surrounded by yes-men, Vladimir Putin received bad information about Ukraine from the start. Can the Russian people expect anything better?

Two months after the initial invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops continue to move through the country. The world remains fixated on the developing situation as Putin refuses to back down and Ukrainian president Vlodymyr Zelensky appeals for the international community’s support. A panel of experts joined Roundtable to analyze the war, Putin and Ukraine’s military strategies and the role of information in the conflict. In this segment, the panel discusses opposition to the war within Russia.

Beth Knobel emphasizes that Russian state media still maintains a tight grip on the flow of information about the war.

"I think we underestimated the power of Russian propaganda to work on people. There's such a stream of pro-government information coming from so many different sources," she says.

But despite censorship and the aggressively enforced state narrative around the situation in Ukraine, opposition is still growing.

"If this continues, more and more Russians are going to come to understand the truth about what's going on in Ukraine," Knobel adds. "The Russians have been really brutal and cracking down on protests, but things are bubbling up. There's a lot more opposition to the war than people think, and I definitely think it's going to keep growing."

As protests continue, Knobel notes that Putin himself may not realize the magnitude of the momentum against him.

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"He is very badly informed. He has a circle of yes-men around him who never told him the truth about the possibilities of what could happen in Ukraine," she says. "It's really hard to know how much he understands about what's going on."

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Kris Osborn, Editor-in-Chief, Warrior Maven

Beth Knobel, Journalist and Communication Professor, Fordham University

John Ruehl, Journalist