Summary of “After a week of Russian propaganda, I was questioning everything”

Like its sister outlet RT, Sputnik is a Russian government-funded media outlet, widely seen by Russia experts as a vehicle to disseminate disinformation for the Kremlin, and, like its space-dwelling namesake, to make the West look bad. While RT is television, Sputnik lives on the radio, a wire service and website.
Today, Sputnik operates in 34 countries in more than 30 languages, including, as of this past summer, on an FM station in Washington, D.C. When Sputnik launched stateside, the investigations into Russia’s supposed interference in the U.S. election were accelerating, and the media outlet was greeted with critical coverage.
Because its provider is now a foreign agent, Sputnik is now required to disclose that it is funded by the Russian government.
Over the last month, questioning the chemical attack in Douma dominated the news at Sputnik.
While at Sputnik’s offices, I also sat down with Mindia Gavasheli, a Russian national who runs Sputnik’s D.C. newsroom.
When I sat down with Lee Stranahan, the former Breitbart reporter, who calls himself a “Political futurist,” he shrugged off the idea that Sputnik was Russian propaganda by employing some whataboutism of his own.
“When you work for Sputnik, you get called a traitor and a Putin puppet But why does no one bring up the coup we fomented?” he said, referring to Russian allegations that the U.S. fomented a coup in Ukraine.
As one last attempt to better understand Sputnik, I put myself on a weeklong Sputnik media diet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Remembering Laika, Space Dog and Soviet Hero”

Six years earlier, a pair of dogs named Dezik and Tsygan had reached the cusp of outer space, and since then more than two dozen others had followed.
As Asif Siddiqi recounts in his book “Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974,” the stringency of the requirements prompted a local dog catcher to ask whether the animals needed “To howl in C major,” too.
Western audiences simultaneously loved and hated the idea of a dog in space.
Sensing a P.R. opportunity, the Soviets paraded other rocket dogs before the press, allowing them to be photographed in their little space outfits.
As Olesya Turkina writes in “Soviet Space Dogs,” a book lavishly illustrated with kitschy canine-cosmonaut imagery, “Under socialism the niche occupied by popular culture in capitalist society was subject to strict ideological control.” Because the Kremlin considered the dogs ideologically safe, Turkina continues, they effectively “Became the first Soviet pop stars,” appearing on every product imaginable-matchboxes, razor blades, postcards, stamps, chocolates, cigarettes.
Later space dogs, such as the famous Belka and Strelka, were brought back down alive, and their puppies were used as international good-will ambassadors.
The animals were so well loved that when Yuri Gargarin achieved orbit, in 1961, he is said to have remarked, “Am I the first human in space, or the last dog?”.
As we humanize space, let us remember that dogs humanize us.

The orginal article.