Filmmaker who documented Russia’s propaganda says Trump ‘fits neatly’ into Moscow’s narrative as the only US leader who ‘wasn’t trying to destroy the Russian way of life’
- The filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin said Donald Trump fit “neatly” into an anti-West Kremlin narrative.
- He said Trump was portrayed as the only US leader not “trying to destroy the Russian way of life.”
- He described Russia as “fully and artfully” waging an information war for the past decade.
A filmmaker who has extensively documented Russian propaganda said this week that of all the US leaders, former President Donald Trump fit “neatly” into the Kremlin’s anti-West narrative.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Maxim Pozdorovkin — whose award-winning documentary “Our New President” follows Trump’s election in 2016 as depicted by Russia’s state-linked media — gave his take on Moscow’s long-standing propaganda campaign against the US and the West.
Pozdorovkin told The Post that in the decade leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russians had been fed the same message “over and over” by President Vladimir Putin’s government that the West was constantly attempting to “stifle and destroy” their society. He said Trump “fits neatly” in Moscow’s propaganda efforts because he could be portrayed as the “one American leader who wasn’t trying to destroy the Russian way of life.”
In the context of that narrative, Pozdorovkin said, the domestic backlash that Trump faced in the US — no matter the real reason — could be framed as being fueled by anti-Russia interests.
“It’s been an information war — a totally one-sided information war — and it has been waged so fully and artfully that it’s made a lot of what’s happening now preemptively possible,” he told the outlet.
“The Russian media has been totally shadowboxing for years; no one was fighting back,” he said later in the interview. “But that doesn’t really matter. If you ingrain this message of victimhood so completely, what it does is when there’s any kind of Putin aggressive action, as there is now, a lot of people in Russia don’t see it as aggressive.
“They just see it as standing up for their way of life.”
Trump and Putin met five times during Trump’s presidency, though details of these meetings were handled secretively, as The New York Times reported in 2019. Trump’s dealings with Russia and apparent openness toward Russian help during his 2016 presidential campaign attracted wide scrutiny during much of his presidency.
Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Trump has made several statements about Putin and Russia.
Most recently, Trump said if he were still president, he would send nuclear submarines to go “up and down” Russia’s coast to pressure Putin. He has also suggested in a speech to Republican donors that the US put Chinese flags on its fighter jets to “bomb the shit out of Russia.”
Soon before the invasion, Trump praised Putin’s justification for sending his forces into Ukraine, calling the Russian leader “savvy,” “smart,” and a “genius.”