The TV vs the fridge: A Russian joke shows why Putin's propaganda isn't working on his own people

Vladimir Putin advances a heroic narrative of Russian greatness that doesn’t always match the facts. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS

A joke circulating among ordinary Russians about government propaganda shows how Putin can struggle to win over his own people: they say life is like watching “a battle between the TV set and the fridge.”

Here’s how it goes: Russia’s sanction-ridden economy is weak and it’s hard to get what you want in stores,

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