HOUSTO - As the war in Ukraine drags on, with no sign of a truce, many Russians have a very different understanding of events than western news consumers.
To help combat that, a Houston energy analyst is a frequent voice on Russian TV who is trying to share the truth.
As a slickly produced new program recently flashed on screens, from Russian TV network NTV, a familiar name and face appeared. From his Houston office, energy analyst Andy Lipow offered comment on the effect of OPEC production cuts.
"The reason I talk to them is actually because it's a way to present 'our' information to the Russian audience," says Lipow.
He has talked to Russian TV a number of times, since the invasion of Ukraine, to comment on sanctions, natural gas supplies in Europe, and oil prices. Producers will email questions, and hire a local photographer to ask them on camera. Lipow says those questions are frequently framed to elicit a Russia-friendly response.
One recent question asked was, "How do you feel about the idea that a gas and oil war is being waged in the world, the purpose of which is to oust Russia from the players in the energy resources market?" Lipow says, "They do portray themselves as the victim, that the U.S. is certainly out to 'destroy the Russian economy'."
Lipow admits he can tell what they'd 'like' him to say, but insists he tells the truth as he sees it, answered in a way that offers little opportunity to take his words out of context. It's a contribution he keeps getting called to make.
"If they're going to use it, they're going to hear my words," he says, "And then they have to go with it, or not."
Early in the war, Lipow says the interview questions were more pointed about how 'right' Russia was in it's invasion of Ukraine.
As a form of civil disobedience, he says he often wears a combination of blue and yellow in subliminal support of the Ukrainian flag.