TV News in Russia – July, 2017

How the News is Reported in Russia
July, 2017

Internship in RussiaAccording to a 2016 poll by the independent Levada Center, 80% of Russians view television as their primary source of news. The same Levada poll, however, shows that only 41% trust the news as an objective source of information. The broadcasts sampled here are from Russia’s most-watched channels: First Channel and Russia Channel.

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Anatoly Antonov to Become Russian Ambassador to the US – “Most Dangerous Diplomat”

First Channel reports that Sergey Kislyak, after serving nine years as Russian Ambassador to the US, has left his post. His possible successor will be Anatoly Antonov, “a diplomat who worked for the Defense Ministry for a long time and returned to the Foreign Ministry as Deputy Minister at the end of 2016,” First Channel states. According to the channel, US press called Sergey Kislyak “the most dangerous diplomat in Washington DC.” Further, the channel asserted that US media publishes numerous articles about Russia’s hostility towards the US, accusing even the relatives and aides of President Trump of having ties to Russia. Dmitry Peskov, who serves as Putin’s Press Secretary, quoted Vladimir Putin as saying that the US media suffers from, “political schizophrenia.” Peskov and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied the allegations of some “secret” meeting allegedly held between the two Presidents.

Moscow Responded to EU Sanctions Against Russia

First Channel reports that Moscow “responded to the new Western sanctions” (the EU’s extension of the financial sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU by six more months). The Russian government had a meeting where Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the government would propose the President to extend the counter-sanctions (the ban of agricultural imports from a number of Western countries) by one more year, until December 31, 2018. The President signed the extension of the counter-sanctions, First Channel states.

Vladimir Putin States That Russia Can Impose Additional Restrictions on USA, but Won’t

First Channel quotes President Putin as saying in a TV interview that “Russia is able to impose additional restrictions on the USA, but Russia will not do it, in order not to damage the development of international relations.” Also, Vladimir Putin said that “we waited quite long – may be, something will change for the better, we hoped for it,” but “even if the situation improves, it won’t happen any time soon.” Russia could have toughened its policy towards the USA in such mutually sensitive areas as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fighting terrorism, space exploration projects, the President said, but no such actions will be taken.

America’s Interests Moved Beyond Their Borders. Why is Washington Ready to Harm Russia, if it Means Sacrificing Friendship with Europe?

First Channel reports that the decision of the US Congress to impose additional sanctions on Russia met with negative reactions in Europe, especially in Germany. German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Martin Schaefer was quoted as saying that USA is “not in a position to tell German companies whether they can have relations with third parties or not,” such as Russian companies of the energy sector. Some executives of European companies spoke against sanctions, for example, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of German oil and gas company Wintershall Mario Mehren said that “sanctions should not be used as an element of promoting one’s own economic interests, for example, for selling American liquefied natural gas.” He and a number of other businessmen would like to cooperate with Russia on construction of gas pipeline Northern Stream-2, but the US Congress is imposing sanctions on this project, First Channel states. The channel stated that it is likely the US wants to maintain control of the current gas pipeline which runs from Russia to Western Europe via Ukraine, as such control provides a powerful political tool. The channel quoted President Putin as saying at a press conference in Helsinki that, regrettably, Russian-American relations are currently used as a tool in political competition domestically in the USA.

Before G-20 Summit, Donald Trump Visited Poland, where he Made Anti-Russian Statements

First Channel reports that US President Donald Trump made some “standard anti-Russian statements” during his visit in Poland in order to “follow a lead of his political opponents and demonstrate that he is a person of principle.”

Vladimir Putin Shared Impressions about Donald Trump

First Channel quotes President Putin as saying about President Trump: “what surprised me about him, and what I did not expect, and I believe it is very important for person who has a public profile, a politician: He can listen. He reacts to the one speaking, their arguments; he discusses things even if there is something he does not like and does not agree with; he asks questions. That is important and I think that it is positive, and if our dialogue proceeds in this way, there is hope that the dialogue will continue developing further.”

Why is West Pressurizing Russia So Persistently, Creating an Enemy of Russia?

The First Channel new anchor states that the West is pressurizing Russia so persistently because “the Western elites have lost their grip on reality,” and this might result in very serious political implications, “similar to the emergence of Nazism and the disastrous world wars of the 20th century.” The host stated that the Western political elites are lying to their people, and lies can result in “the collapse of countries such as was the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was based on lies.”

How Do American Propagandists Work with Friendly Media in Russia?

First Channel states that funds promoting democracy, especially US-based funds, always become more active on the eve of elections. The channel states that their activities “often result in Maidans and coups, people get impoverished and flee the country, but democracy does not work out for some reason.” The report names the US broadcasting corporation BBG which has two radio stations reporting in Russian – Radio Liberty and Voice of America. It also quotes a statement from the BBG about “the need to increase cooperation with its Russian partners.” These were specifically named: Echo of Moscow radio, RBC news corporation, and Dozhd TV. When questioned by First Channel, all these Russian media denied any financial ties with the US government and its entities.

Vladimir Putin: Adversaries of Russia Have Long Distorted History as Way to Fight Our Country

First Channel in its report refutes the statement of the NBC broadcast that “Russia has been infringing on the Ukrainian borders for the last 100 years.” In fact, Russia added new territories to Ukraine, both in the East and the West. In fact, Crimea was originally given to Ukraine by Russia. The channel also states that NATO as a whole is engaged in distorting history, giving as an example a recent documentary “glorifying” the Forest Brothers who fought the Soviet Union in Latvia after WWII. Most people killed by Forest Brothers were civilians living in the Baltic countries. The channel quotes President Putin as saying that distorting history has been used by other countries as a tool for competing with Russia for a long time.

Harmony and Balance: Russia and China are Moving in the Same Direction

Russia Channel reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping started his visit to Europe from Russia. The two leaders signed Russian-Chinese statements about the current situation in the world and important global issues. The statement scope is broad: proposals to establish an international anti-terrorist coalition, to elaborate an international convention in the area of information technologies, to create unified rules for the Internet, and to develop an international agreement on banning deployment of weapons in space. Also, Russia and China have similar views on Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea, the channel states.

 

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About the Author

Andrei Nesterov
Andrei Nesterov has reported on political and social issues for the Russian press as well as American outlets such as Russian Life, Worldpress.org, and Triangle Free Press. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the "real Russia" which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and went on to study TESOL and teach Russian at West Virginia University. He is currently working on an MA from St. Petersburg State in International Relations. Andrei contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS site, and is an overall linguistics and research resource. He additionally helps coordinate activities for our students in Moscow.