Several Russian media outlets previously seen as more independent have recently adopted a more pro-Kremlin approach. And so far, economic hardship does not seem to have diminished Russian support for Putin.
One way of the EU competing could be to get Russian-speaking EU member states such as Lithuania—some of which have been particularly vocal against Russia's recent behaviour—to pool resources to disseminate more media giving the EU perspective to Russians.
However, the EU is facing plenty of its own problems, not least growing pro-Russian sentiment in some of its 28 member states.
"The political challenges facing Europe are now immense - dealing with the perceived threat from Russia, the rise of far right/far left and anti-immigration impulses, and generally centrifugal forces and the sense that European institutions are still detached from the people," Tim Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank, pointed out.