Latest Issue

Prapaganda: Putin uses Russia’s most popular hip-hop TV show as a PR vehicle

Vladimir Putin saunters onstage. His smile is insincere. Wearing a blue zip-up jumper over a beige turtleneck, he looks like he’s come straight from the gym. The tune from MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” announces him; a crowd of teenagers clap and scream as he makes his entrance on the country’s most popular hip-hop show, The Battle for Respect. Standing in front of a giant screen, Putin extols the martial values of rap. For viewers across Russia’s 11 time zones the sight is as striking as…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect