Monday, 6 December 2010

Russia: Reds under the bed

Russia. Untrustworthy? Riddled with corruption? Slighty terrifying? Or a great opportunity for the UK PR industry to make money?

Many would argue all of the above. We're nowhere near a 'Reds under the Bed' McCarthyist clamour to root out communists from society, but the level of scepticism felt towards Russia is on the rise.

This week we've seen a number of reasons to feel uneasy about Russia. Wikileaks 'revealed' Russia is run like a 'mafia state', and that Vladimir Putin probably knew about the murder of dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Football was told it would not be coming home but instead be visiting Kazan, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Yaroslavl and Volgograd in 2018. Then, yesterday's Sunday Times led with allegations a member of the Defence Select Committee employs a Russian spy as his parliamentary aide.

It seems Russia has a few reputational issues to deal with. Earlier this year reports suggested London based PR agencies did well out of handling the reputations of foreign governments - Russia included. A short walk through Mayfair reveals there is a lot of Russian money in London so expect it to be invested in a charm offensive coming your way very soon.

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