Chaos in the Arab world suits Russia’s domestic propaganda

Moscow is using the unrest in the Middle East to reinforce its media messages about the threat from the West at home

The World Today
3 minute READ

Nikolay Kozhanov

Research Associate Professor, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University; Consulting Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme

If the Middle East did not exist, Moscow would definitely have to invent it. Chaos in the Arab world has offered the Kremlin a convenient opportunity to shape public opinion at home on such issues as the legitimacy of the regime, its confrontation with the West and the situation in Ukraine. As a result, for the past two years, Middle East unrest has become one of the most popular topics discussed by Russian journalists and politicians.

Many middle and working-class Russians are nostalgic for the ‘imperial’ glory of the USSR, and the Kremlin gives them what they want. Russian support for Damascus, close relations with Tehran and rapprochement with Egypt are presented as the restoration of the Kremlin’s influence that was lost after 1991.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.