Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 23 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Vladimir Putin's PR Blunders Earn Him Controversial Nomination

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message William Dunkerley
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)
During the tenure of Vladimir Putin, the international reputation of Russia and its leaders has been severely tarnished by his foreign and domestic critics. My research has shown that much of the criticism lacks a factual basis. But the allegations have become widely accepted, I have found, because Putin failed to protect his image and that of the country. For that reason, I've nominated him for membership in the Fanny Kaplan Club of the American University in Moscow.

When inaugurating the Fanny Kaplan Club last year, Dr. Edward Lozansky, president of the American University in Moscow, said, "to qualify you must be known as one of the most outspoken Putin haters."

It may seem strange that I've nominated Putin to a club that exists to recognize Putin haters. But, it appears to me that Putin has done more than any other person to engender Putin hatred. Not by his actions. Mostly by his inaction. His absence of any effective response to the persistent denigration of Russia and its leaders has done more to solidify the  near-universal negative images that prevail than the work of any other individual.

The problem is that for too long Putin has allowed his enemies to define him. They've been in control of his image. Over the years allegations have been successfully advanced that he blew up apartment buildings in Russia, used energy as a weapon against other countries, practiced pedophilia, murdered journalists, poisoned Alexander Litvinenko, invaded Georgia, and the list goes on. In each case the allegations have lacked a factual basis. They were fabricated.

In the Litvinenko matter, I've shown in my book, the The Phony Litvinenko Murder, how the media story that blamed Putin was fabricated by his arch enemies. On the Georgian invasion, the European Union's fact-finding mission reported that instead of Russia invading Georgia, the 2008 conflict started with a massive Georgian artillery attack.

Despite such factual revelations, the malicious stories propagated by Putin's enemies remain the mainstream understanding of those situations. Putin has taken no effective action to redefine perceptions along more factual lines.

What's worse, his more recent actions have strongly reinforced that negative imagery. I'm talking about the way he handled media aspects of the crackdown on NGOs in Russia; the prosecution of a so-called punk-rock protest group; and the buffoonish ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans. The result is that Putin is being held prisoner within the villainous image his enemies have created.

It was one thing when he was just a victim of media attacks advanced by others. But it's a different story now that he's foolishly playing into the hands of his enemies. The present situation strongly compels action by those concerned for Russian-American relations. His nomination to the Fanny Kaplan Club is one step in that direction.

By not acting decisively and effectively to the onslaught of negative attacks in the media, Putin is neglecting his responsibility to protect the image of his country. All the negative media coverage isn't doing much good for Russia's position in the world and relations with the United States.

Putin seems oblivious to his own pernicious role in all of this. And apparently no one around him is willing to confront him with his own failing. So, he is left like a guy with bad breath surrounded by friends unwilling to tell him. When it comes to media relations, Putin has bad breath. Someone must tell him before he offends the world further.

Some observers believe that there is nothing Putin can do to stop the malicious propaganda war being waged against him. That may be true. However, it is not predestined how people will interpret and react to those fabricated incriminations. The key isn't how he is portrayed, but how those portrayals are interpreted. I can see vast unexploited opportunities therein.

Putin's and Russia's negative international images do not represent an intractable problem. They are a result of negative media spin that has been nurtured by Putin's enemies. There is a Russian-American private sector countermeasures initiative that I strongly support. It is called "Russia without Spin" ( It stands out as a promising solution on the horizon.

Rate It | View Ratings

William Dunkerley Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

William Dunkerley is a media business analyst, international development and change strategist, and author of numerous books, monographs, and articles. He has been editor and publisher of media industry information, and has additional expertise (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Operation Beluga: A US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize the Russian Federation

Proof of Clinton Complicity in Russia Mess Discovered in NY Times Archives

The War Putin Lost

Alexander Litvinenko: The Russian Spy Story Unraveled -- It Turns Out He Wasn't a Spy

Integrity at CNN Bites the Dust

Trump's "Putin Connection" Has Been Outed with a Surprising Result

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend