The curious case of missing Russian Defence Minister Shoigu
I wrote this article yesterday compiling the instability appearing inside the Kremlin including the disappearance of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu over the past few weeks.
Today Putin held a virtual meeting and at first glance Shoigu made an appearance but upon further examination that may not have been the case.
The following is a repost from Russian media outlet Mediazona on their interpretation of whether Shoigu was present at the today’s meeting.
On March 11, that is, from the 16th day of the war, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stopped appearing in public. Until that day, he called up his colleagues in other countries, presented awards - that is, there were independent confirmations that everything was in order with the head of the military department. And then he disappeared.
The 13-day absence of a key military leader in the midst of the most serious war in modern Russian history could not remain a secret for long, so the journalists had questions - where is Shoigu? And the authorities tried to answer: everything is in order, the head of the Ministry of Defense is in his place. To do this, state media showed a short video from the Security Council. Video editor of Mediazona Alexandra Dubrovskaya watched these videos and came to the conclusion: most likely, Shoigu was not present at this meeting.
Of the entire meeting of the Security Council, it was precisely those shots that showed problems with Shoigu's camera that were broadcast on Rossiya 1. The nature of this interference can be called strange: at first glance, it seems that Shoigu has some problems with the broadcast. But when viewed frame-by-frame in high resolution, it looks more like the operator quickly moves the camera to the minister.
This may have two explanations. Theoretically, the video could have been filmed at the very beginning of the meeting, which started suddenly, and the cameraman Shoigu did not post the frame, and then came to his senses. It sounds doubtful: the camera was turned on, and it was as if it had just been moved.
The second, more likely version is that such an effect was simply added in post-production. This was done in order to draw the attention of the audience to this very corner so that everyone would definitely notice that Shoigu was present at the meeting.
Was Shoigu present? Any person who is engaged in editing and post-production knows that pasting something on the TV screen, especially if the frame itself is static (there is no movement in it), is an elementary task.
The footage from the previous Security Councils, which took place on March 3 and 11, shows that Shoigu really was at both meetings and took part in the discussion: sound is heard and a close-up is visible. At the same time, the background on which Shoigu was filmed and his clothes are completely identical to the background against which we see Shoigu at today's Security Council.
Considering that we have never been shown a video with sound, and Shoigu is hidden in the corner (to which our attention was so persistently attracted by a simple trick with interference), it can be assumed with a high degree of probability that the footage from Shoigu was simply taken from one of the previous Security Councils and pasted into the current one.
In general, the entire editing of the video from today's Security Council, for which the broadcast of Rossiya 24 was interrupted, can be called strange: the video consists of two and a half frames. The first is a general plan with a TV. Then the second - a close-up of Putin. And then the third - the same general, on which again a black screen instead of Shoigu.
The first frame does not fit in with the second at all: it has a completely different position of Putin's body, he looks the other way. If the video had sound, it couldn't be hidden. The third frame is generally the beginning of the very first frame. This becomes obvious if you cut it from the end and rearrange it to the beginning.
Why was it possible to take only two frames from a huge, long meeting? Apparently, there was nothing more to show from this meeting. Or not.
Most likely, the meeting of the Security Council really took place, only Shoigu was not there. It was simply built into the TV, using footage from one of the previous safety tips. And they added interference - and for the completely dull RIA Novosti, they also made a zoom (approach) so that it was clear to the viewer where to look.
Editor: Dmitry Treschanin via Mediazona