Newsweek reports on Russian propaganda attempts so desperate that they defy belief:
[Other efforts] have been laughably embarrassing, like the clumsily doctored photograph that ran in a newspaper distributed by the pro-Putin Popular Front in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg. The picture showed anti-corruption campaigner and protest leader Alexei Navalny supposedly palling around with exiled Boris Berezovsky, a favorite Kremlin bogeyman. The accompanying text accused Navalny of accepting money from Berezovsky to stir up trouble. But within minutes after the photo appeared, bloggers found and posted the original images that had been mashed together, heaping derision on the Popular Front’s hamhanded attempt at “black PR.”
What’s more, Putin does not surf the web:
He regards the Internet with suspicion and knows as little about it as he can, taking obvious pride in the fact that he doesn’t even use a computer. Last month he publicly declared that he has “no time for” the Internet or television, both of which he evidently considers to be no more than forms of frivolous entertainment.
I had no idea he was as cocooned from reality as a North Korean. If that sounds extreme, consider what no internet use means. He’ll get his news from biased aides and similarly partial Russian papers, and he’ll have no access to information as simple as Wiki articles, never-mind no news sources from the rest of the world. How could a sensible leader live like that?