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Rostec’s PR war on Telegram
A new investigative report published jointly by Meduza and The Bell looks closely at Rostec, one of Russia’s key state corporations, and its campaign to exert control over the public discourse on Telegram about Rostec’s operations and executives. Rostec is responsible for developing, manufacturing, and exporting high-tech products in aviation, mechanical engineering, radio electronics, medical technology, and a lot more. This is the Kremlin’s arms conglomerate, controlling outfits like the Kalashnikov Concern, Uralvagonzavod, Avtovaz, and many more factories that make the war machines now wreaking havoc in Ukraine.
Rostec is as serious as they come, and its long-time CEO, Sergey Chemezov, has been running the show since 2007 since the state corporation was founded in 2007. The history between Chemezov and Vladimir Putin goes back to the 1980s when the two were both Soviet intelligence agents in Dresden. So why does an enterprise with so much clout bother with bloggers on Telegram? And what does it say about the information available to Russians in an age without an independent press? Journalist Svetlana Reiter, who coauthored Meduza’s report on Rostec and Telegram, joins The Naked Pravda to discuss the story.
Timestamps for this episode:
- (6:48) What’s so special about Vasily Brovko, Rostec’s director of special assignments
- (10:09) What’s so special about Telegram in Russia?
- (13:37) Fighting extortion albeit with ulterior motives
- (23:03) Anonymity on Telegram or a lack thereof
Production, sound editing, and mixing by Kevin Rothrock
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