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***This analysis evaluates public and government response to Russian action.

Weapon plan shown on TV by accident, Russia says


Source: New York Times, 13 November 2015, Page A4
Andrew Kramers article in the New York Times details a public report broadcast this week
revealing the design of Russian drone submarines with the capability to attack coastlines.
Confirmed by ranking government officials, opinion leaders believe Russia chose to leak the
information through standard media technology to threaten the West.
Diplomacy is comparable to public relations because both use skills to strategically manage
publics views to maintain a favorable public image. The main difference between the two is
defining publics within a community or international scope. Furthermore, although technology
continues to evolve, those planning PR tactics continue to use traditional media channels such as
television to convey messages. I argue the Russians method of revealing nuclear information
through traditional technology was strategic and effective despite the public viewing it as a
conspiracy. Additionally, Russias actions correlate directly to the issue management process.
First, current events have developed and identified nuclear power as a key topic for many states.
Russian analysis regarding Russian-US contention regarding military action in Iran reveals
potential subversion of Moscows second-strike capability undermining the nuclear balance
between the two superpowers. While Russia has employed a variety of tactics in the past, they
currently have taken a very blunt approach. For instance, Russian ambassador to Denmark
recently told the country it faced potential nuclear destruction for backing US missile defense
plans. However, it has kept the submarine in its operational arsenal since the 60s and has never
decided to communicate about it.
However, after deciding on releasing the information through traditional media on Monday,
Russia pulled the television programs by Tuesday, and made statements on Wednesday. The
broadcast featured a public portion which showed President Vladimir Putin meeting with
military industry officials. During the broadcast, the cameras zoomed in on pages held by one of
the military officials detailing the weapon design clearly. By allowing the program to run, not
making a statement about the accidental nature of the information release, and confirming its
nuclear capability, it seems fairly clear the intimidating nature of the Russian leak.
Thus, in evaluating Russias choice to demonstrate the information through television, anyone
can consider the decision effective. By not using a formal announcement, Russia can propagate
uncertainty. The accidental nature of the reveal demonstrated military personnel casually
looking at the design also promotes fear of the unknown. By controlling what was seen of the
document and what was said about the document, Russia now controls the discussion of their
nuclear capabilities.
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