RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War


When she heard she got the job, “I almost fainted,” Simonyan told me recently. We were sitting on plush couches on an exclusive, dimly lit floor of Voronezh, a fashionable restaurant in the Khamovniki district in central Moscow. “Dr. No,” the James Bond film about a plan to disrupt the American space program, was on a TV screen opposite us. Before us was a spread of venison, oysters and shrimp, themselves an unsubtle statement: They were imported from Russia’s far east, a menu adjustment in response to the sanctions and countersanctions that had cut off Western food imports.

Simonyan, who is now 37, is petite with a wide face, dark hair and green eyes. Her name appears more times in the declassified U.S. intelligence assessment than anyone’s besides Putin’s, but she seems a somewhat unlikely candidate for an American national-security threat. When the…



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