Russia uses a ratio of 4:1 in “soft power”, which involves paying articulate opportunists to speak secretly on Russia’s behalf, to sway people against things such as the essential tenants of democracy and/or against restrictions on Russia such as NATO.
Various speakers on RT are chosen because they often have these viewpoints. Where they are actually paid by Russia, or were just influenced by thinkers or propaganda that originated in Russia is difficult to prove. What you can easily tell though, is why they were chosen.
David Icke has essential summed up his message once by saying that the Mainstream Media is a false, scripted, show designed to distract us from what is really happening in government. This is an extreme version of the belief that Russia would prefer its targeted viewers believe because it discredits the press. The press is essential to a healthy democracy and preventing abuse of power from authoritarian figures such as Putin.
Conspiracy thinking is preferred because it ultimately gets the people to live in a mindset along the lines of ‘you can’t really know what’s going on,’ and susceptible to online propaganda. They become conditioned to gauge news not by the credibility of the source, but of the level of exposing an interesting conspiracy that the news source is presenting to them. These national enquirer type of headlines are employing are often persuasive clickbait and allow exploit partisan bias. They demonize political ‘enemies’ and even seek to hard intelligence agencies such as the FBI and CIA.