Kremlin tells companies to deliver good news, show Russia in positive light: report

By | November 14, 2017

By: Reuters | Moscow |
Printed:November 14, 2017 12:46 pm

Russia, Kremlin, Russia companies, Vladimir Putin, Russia good news, Russia elections Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a briefing for reporters on the finish of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin by way of REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

The Kremlin desires excellent news. The Russian management has instructed main firms to produce it with information tales that put its stewardship of the nation in a constructive gentle, in accordance with paperwork seen by Reuters.

A seven-page doc spelled out the type of articles required, with a concentrate on new jobs, scientific achievements and new infrastructure, particularly these involving state help. It additionally detailed how the tales needs to be offered, and gave a weekly deadline for submissions.

The directions had been despatched final month by the vitality ministry to 45 firms in Russia’s vitality and utilities sector together with Rosneft, Lukoil and Novatek , in accordance with a second doc, a listing of recipients.

The drive coincides with the run-up to a presidential election in March subsequent yr when President Vladimir Putin wants a powerful mandate with excessive turnout to keep up his agency grip on energy after dominating Russian politics for 20 years.

“Life for almost all of individuals has change into calmer, extra comfy, extra engaging. However many such examples usually escape the media’s consideration,” mentioned the primary doc.

“Our activity, via a artistic and painstaking strategy, is to pick out such subjects and topics and supply them to the media.”

That doc, which didn’t point out the election, mentioned the information objects to be equipped had been to feed a “constructive information wire” and may correspond to 2 themes: “Life is getting higher” and “How issues had been; how they’re now”.

Each paperwork had been hooked up to an invite, dated Oct. 9, despatched by the vitality ministry to senior executives within the public relations and authorities relations departments of the companies, of which 17 are state-controlled and 28 privately-held. The invitation requested they ship representatives to an Oct. 12 assembly on the ministry in Moscow to debate methods to assist the federal government’s PR effort.

Reuters noticed a replica of the invitation and spoke to a few executives who acquired it. In response to the invitation, the information initiative was requested by Sergei Kiriyenko, the primary deputy chief of workers within the presidential administration.

A spokesman for Kiriyenko didn’t reply to a request for remark. The vitality ministry additionally didn’t reply, nor did Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Reuters despatched requests for remark to the most important 5 firms out of the 45, by market worth – state-owned oil main Rosneft, state-owned fuel large Gazprom, non-public oil firms Lukoil and Surgutneftegaz, and personal fuel agency Novatek. No responses had been acquired.


Oil and fuel present Russia’s largest income and vitality companies are among the many strongest firms and largest employers. Reuters has not discovered proof that comparable directions had been despatched to firms in different sectors.

The Oct. 12 assembly was chaired by Deputy Vitality Minister Anton Inyutsyn, and an official from the presidential administration was additionally current, in accordance with one of many sources who attended. The 2 officers went via and defined the directions specified by the seven-page doc, mentioned the supply, who added that the election was not talked about.

Reuters reported in February that the ministry had enlisted vitality firms to present it advance discover about developments that might affect public opinion.

The assembly final month and the rules circulated in preparation for it present that, since then, the initiative has stepped up into the next gear, with firms being handed extremely particular directions on how they’re anticipated to assist.

It was not clear if the businesses had acted on the directions.

The information tips doc mentioned the federal government needed to focus on “victories and achievements”.

It included a nine-point record of the type of information that firms ought to provide. It requested, for instance, for tales about enterprise models “the place it’s doable to say that state help helped raise them out of disaster, restored fashionable manufacturing, and re-equipped them with new tools and gave work to native residents”.

Examples given of the type of occasions of curiosity to the federal government from elsewhere within the company world included state lender Sberbank hiring 700 individuals within the Volga river metropolis of Togliatti, a competition funded by an organization in Kaliningrad area for younger individuals with listening to difficulties and a sports activities centre being opened in Cherkessk, southern Russia.

The doc additionally held up the case of Yevgeny Kosmin for example of a constructive information story, a miner in western Siberia whose crew extracted 1.6 million tonnes of coal in July this yr, a month-to-month report.

That carried echoes of Alexey Stakhanov, a miner who in 1935 extracted nearly 15 occasions extra coal throughout a shift than his quota required. Communist propaganda held Stakhanov up as an emblem of Soviet industrial prowess.


The directions stipulated that firms ought to submit constructive information tales each week – on the Monday, or Tuesday morning on the newest.

They mentioned the businesses ought to current their objects within the format of a desk, with new additions highlighted in a colored font, and accompanied by a press launch that may very well be handed on to journalists with minimal modifying from authorities officers.

The doc additionally required every firm to offer a contact one that might present additional info to journalists, inform TV information crews methods to attain the venue to report on an occasion, and organise entry for information crews to the corporate’s websites.

Reuters was not in a position to set up if the Kremlin had made equally particular calls for of firms up to now.

Putin has not but declared his intention to hunt re-election. Most Kremlin observers say he’ll. Opinion polls present he’ll win comfortably, with many citizens crediting him with restoring nationwide delight.

The Kremlin’s largest headache with the election, scheduled for subsequent March, is making certain a powerful turnout, say many political analysts.

With the economic system weak and many individuals viewing the consequence as a foregone conclusion, voters could also be tempted to avoid polling stations. A low turnout might undermine Putin’s legitimacy in his subsequent time period, the analysts say.

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