How to Spin Russia

This news entry from the BBC is a textbook example of how to write up a Russia news story so that the right twist is given to it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the creation of a new National Guard, which he said would fight terrorism and organised crime. The force will be formed of interior ministry troops and led by Mr Putin’s former bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov, who will report directly to the president. Mr Putin’s spokesman said the force could be used to maintain public order.

OK, so far so good, this announced, these the reasons. But note the next sentence:

But Dmitry Peskov denied its creation was linked to September’s election. Some critics say Mr Putin fears unrest.”

You can just see the scene: boring announcement; reporter asks: “Are you just doing this so you can crack heads?”; “No” says Peskov.

And awaaaaaay we go! Throw in “some experts” and we have the twist.

Never mind that all opinion polls — Russian and foreign — show spectacular levels of support for the government; it’s time to stir up another non-story of election faking to maintain the anti-Russia line.