Listen to this January 17, 2015 Real Clear Radio Hour podcast:
in which Peter Pomerantsev, British TV producer and author of "Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia", describes Vladimir Putin’s approach to propaganda and authoritarian rule.
If nothing else at least listen to the last 7 or 8 minutes, i.e. 20 minutes 30 seconds onward into the podcast, from the link here.
Pomarantsev explains how bellicose propaganda has become reality in Eastern Ukraine, how a disinformation-driven reason for war was invented and the danger this poses to world peace.
What a tragedy such cynical manipulation, a war driven by misinformation, has already cost thousands of lives and billions and billions of dollars of physical damage. It is quite possible a humanitarian catastrophe awaits....I pray it does not.