Manipulation of public agenda, transfer, the use of mythology, demonization are one of few approaches, Russian TV channels manipulate public opinion in Russia to portray Ukraine as chaos and Russia as cosmos, the symbol of stability. Russian professor of history Valeriy Solovei delivers a bright lecture to expose propaganda in Russian media.
Note: Valeriy Solovei is a professor of Moscow State University after Lomonosov. He has academic freedom to share his knowledge of media technologies to students. Valeriy Solovei tweets via @V_Solovey.
For the international community Russian LIfeNews TV channel is a classic example of the worst propaganda and misinformation. It’s so-called journalists follow insurgents in Donbass and appear with their camera as soon as shelling or fight begin. Some even claim, if you see Russian journalists with camera, expect bombing or shelling. LifeNews poses itself as “the most breaking news”. They always ready to pay for unique content – user’s footage of catastrophes or accidents.
This week LifeNews team among many other media came to Minsk Summit – Ukraine-Russian-Germany-France talks to stop the war in Donbass through cease fire. On the eve of talk LifeNews journalist Aleksandr Yanyshev assaulted two Ukrainian journalists. He started yelling at them and when run out of arguments, he started …barking. It was shot by other journalists and published online.
The episode was widely discussed in social media and central Ukrainian TV stations. Users started mocking the behavior of Russian journalists producing Coub video. Coub is a platform that helps to create looped video. It is easily managed and let users add music and footage from elsewhere.
The best examples of mocking LifeNews incident in Minsk are bellow:
Russian media are famous for biased coverage of politics, especially regarding the war in Ukraine, led by insurgents and backed by Russian military. Many Russians see the war in Ukraine just as a minor episode of a greater geopolitical conflict – the one between West (civilized world) and East (Russia). Thus, the humanitarian catastrophe in Donbass and thousands of lives of local population and soldiers do not matter.
In video bellow, Russian journalists discuss so-called “parade” of Russian troops to Warsaw, Berlin and other European capitals. Initially, I thought, the program is a kind of John Stewart’s “The Daily Show”, but those journalists pretend to do reporting – discussing the scenarios of the future preparations to May 9 celebration – anniversary of the victory in the World War II. Meanwhile some pro-Ukrainian activists prepared subtitles in the video to target the international community.
Second video shows insurgents in Lugansk regions addressing to public on the eve of Orthodox Christmas. A girl sends best wishes with Christmas and hopes for the victory in a fight against Ukraine. “But if we gonna loose, we will blow the world”, – she says to threaten the world with nuclear blast. That’s how the creativity for so-called “ruskiy mir” (Russian world) works.
While the international media and world political leaders question if regular Russian troops fight in hybrid war in Ukraine, Russian soldiers in Donbas shoot amateur video and post it online. Officially, Russia declines the presence of its troops in Donbas, but civic activists and journalists have collected dozens of evidences of Russian aggression in Ukraine. Most of it published in social media. In the first video, Russian soldiers are preparing to drive to Vuhlehirsk, a city in Debaltsevo area where heavy fights are led by insurgents against Ukrainian army. “Hello, Chita!”, “Hello, Ulan-Ude!” – Russian soldiers shouting out the names of Russian cities. Chita is located in Zabaikaliye, Russia, while Ulan-Ude – in Buriatia, Russia.
In the second video, Russian soldiers in Donbas are fighting against …fish. They used grenades to get fish from the lake in Donetsk region. Soldiers identify themselves, shouting out the names of Russian cities: Cheliabinsk, Perm, Belgorod.
Ukrainian media regularly publish pieces about Russian military involvement. On Feb 6, 2014, Cenzor.net.ua published a story about Russian tank captured by Ukrainian soldiers near Debaltsevo.
Recently, Ukrainian activists and bloggers have launched a site to collect the names of separatists supporters. The information about more than 22,600 peoples collected so far.