The reality of Russian TV

Putin’s Russia is inspiring (if that’s the word) some great travel writing. A few months ago there was Jens Mühling’s A Journey into Russia, and before that Oliver Bullough’s The Last Man in Russia, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Dolman Travel Book Award. Next week, Radio 4 has as its book of the week (weekdays, 9.45am) Nothing is true and everything is possible by Peter Pomerantsev (due to be published by Faber & Faber on February 5) .

Pomerantsev was born in Kiev and grew up in England, the son of political exiles. He went to Moscow in the early 2000s to work in its television industry. In a country covering nine time zones, he says, “TV is the only force that can unify and rule and bind”, and the Kremlin is making the most of it. TV producers told him regularly that “the news is the incense by which we bless Putin’s actions”.

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