Russia’s state-backed media apparatus is financing four new TV programs produced by a U.S. conspiracy theorist and aimed in large part at undercutting America’s image and interests in the developing world, records show.
Why it matters: The campaign shows how the Kremlin waging an information battle in key regions after its invasion of Ukraine prompted a massive global backlash.
Driving the news: American journalist Ben Swann is producing four news-style TV shows for state-backed Russian media organ TV Novosti and two other entities, the Russian firm Kart LLC and an Armenian company called Stark Industries LLC.
Details: Swann’s production company will receive more than $5 million to produce the four shows, each of which will consist of 50 episodes, according to a contract filed with the Department of Justice.
The filings also reveal that Swann acted as a cutout for payments to ex-employees of Russian propaganda network RT America, which also received funding from TV Novosti and shut down after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The big picture: The topics set to be covered in Swann’s new shows mirror Russian state talking points on the pernicious roles of the U.S. and NATO in global affairs.
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