Faces of Kremlin propaganda: Dimitri Peskov

(State Dept./Mr. Gregory)

(State Dept./Mr. Gregory)

This article is part of a series describing key players in the Russian government’s disinformation campaigns. You can also read more about the diffuser Vladimir Solovyov.

Dmitry Peskov lives a life of luxury beyond his means as a public servant. That’s because he’s served Russian President Vladimir Putin as deputy chief of staff and spokesperson since 2008, spreading disinformation and Russian propaganda.

Covering poisonings is a specialty of Peskov. He took part in the disinformation campaign aimed at covering up the Kremlin’s involvement in the poisonings of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, Sergei Skripal in 2018 and Alexei Navalny in 2020.

Serving Putin has been lucrative for Peskov, seen here in Moscow in 2021. He and his immediate family are multi-millionaires despite Peskov having been a civil servant for his entire career. (©AP Images)

Before Putin launched his brutal war on Ukraine, Peskov repeatedly denied that Russia intended to invade his neighbor, said that Russia had never attacked any other nation, and said that the Russia would be the “last country in Europe” to think of starting a war.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Peskov’s lies evolved:

  • Peskov said “Nazi battalions” in Mariupol, not Russian soldiers, were bomb apartments or other civilian targets in Mariupol.
  • When Bucha residents were found on the streets with their hands tied and gunshot wounds to their heads, observers reasonably held the invaders responsible. But Peskov instead saw a “well staged tragedyand “a forgery in an attempt to denigrate the Russian military”.
Volunteers load the bodies of civilians killed in Bucha onto a truck to take them to the morgue on April 12. Peskov called the murders “the result of staged tampering”. (© Rodrigo Abd/AP Images)

Australia, Canada, the European Union and the United States have all sanctioned Peskov for his role in supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine. The US Treasury Department has also sanctioned Peskov’s wife and two adult childrennoting that their luxurious lifestyles “are likely built on the ill-gotten wealth of Peskov’s relationship with Putin”.

According to the Treasury Department, Peskov’s family members own a real estate empire worth more than $10 million and a number of luxury vehicles, and they travel regularly on private planes and yachts. . Peskov’s son worked for the Russian propaganda organization RTwhich presents pro-Kremlin views to audiences outside of Russia.

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