TV News in Russia – May, 2017

How the News is Reported in Russia
May, 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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2025 Rearmament Program Discussed in Sochi

Russia Channel states that Russia is actively modernizing its military including its air force, navy, and space forces. Russia Channel quotes President Putin as saying at a meeting of military commanders, government officials, and industry officials that a special emphasis has been placed on creating new weapons that can be entirely produced inside Russia. For example, Russia has launched domestic helicopter engine production. It used to import these from Ukraine.

Moscow Launches Massive Housing Renewal Project

First Channel reports that many Muscovites have asked the city government to include their apartment building in the city program to replace old apartments with new ones. They complain about the low quality of the old five-storied buildings, many of which were built in the 1960s as housing meant to last only about 20 years. In total, some 4,000 apartment buildings will be demolished in Moscow, and their residents will be relocated to apartments in new buildings. Some people are so eager to have their apartment buildings included on the list of buildings to be demolished, they are rallying in the streets, First Channel states.

Russia Channel states Moscow’s housing renovation project is the biggest in the world. Many people from old five-storied buildings will be relocated to similar apartments, but in better buildings. People will vote for whether they want their buildings to be demolished or not.

The Immortal Regiment Goes Abroad

First Channel reported that an Immortal Regiment march, which commemorates those that served in WWII, was held in Washington DC, opposite the White House. Russian participants of the march brought portraits of war veterans to the White House, alongside with some Americans who joined their march. Immortal Regiment marches were held in 22 cities of the USA and in several cities in Canada.

First Channel reports that in many Ukrainian cities, people marched to commemorate Victory Day. In some cities, radicals attacked the people who were marching, and the police did not interfere, except for city Dnieper where policemen detained radicals for several hours. The next day, the police chief in Dnieper was dismissed, First Channel reports. Also, the channel quotes Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko as saying that the Immortal Regiment march is an example of “sophisticated political profiteering,” implying that it should be suppressed.

China’s One Belt, One Road Project

First Channel states that Russia “with its huge territory, natural resources, scientific potential” will be playing leading roles in China’s One Belt, One Road Project. The channel quotes President Putin as saying at a forum of state leaders that the project will mark a new future for Eurasia and will help overcome global challenges.

Russia Channel states that One Belt, One Road Project is, in fact, a new version of globalization, Chinese-style. A minimum of two routes of the project will cross Russia. According to Russia Channel, in addition to the planned two routes through Russia, China has expressed special interest in developing another transportation opportunity which Russia has – the Northern Sea Route.

Wannacry Cyberattacks – Who is to blame?

First Channel reports that a recent major hacker attack on May 12 affected many countries, including Russia where Russian Railways, the Interior Ministry, and mobile operator Megaphone “had problems.” The channel quoted Edward Snowden as saying that the computer viruses which attacked the world were developed by the US National Security Agency. Russian IT expert Igor Ashmanov agrees, but stated that these were CIA “combat viruses.”

In other report, first Channel quoted President Putin as saying at a forum in Beijing that Microsoft managers blame US security services for the recent computer virus attack, “and Russia has nothing to do with it.” He says that Russia offered to discuss joint protection measures against such attacks with the US, but did not receive support.

Thousands of Believers Met Relics of St. Nicolas in Moscow

First Channel reports that the arrival of the relics of St. Nicolas, “the most worshipped holy man,” was an event of major importance for Orthodox believers. Patriarch Kirill, who met the relics upon arrival, called this “a historic event.” Many believers spent all night in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior to worship the relics in the morning when access to them was allowed.

Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill Opened Church of Russian New Martyrs in Lubyanka

First Channel reports that a new church dedicated to Russian martyrs who died “in the years of persecution towards the church” was opened on Bolshaya Lubyanka. The church was sanctified by Patriarch Kirill. President Putin was present and gave an icon of John the Baptist as a gift to the new church. Vladimir Putin said at the opening ceremony that the February and October revolutions in Russia became the starting point for many ordeals the country went through, and Russians should remember both the positive and dark points of history and do everything possible to preserve the unity of the Russian nation.

Human Rights Watch Denounces Ban on Russian Internet Resources in Ukraine

First Channel states that “Ukrainian authorities demonstrate their weakness” by such acts as imposing a ban on Russian social networks and issuing an order that the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine becomes a part of the Ukrainian Patriarchy. First Channel asserted that the majority of Ukrainians speak Russian and belong to the “Russian world,” and a tiny fraction of radical nationalists will not be able to subdue a majority of the people. First Channel quotes Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch Rachel Denber as saying that the ban of Russian social networks in Ukraine “seriously violates the right of the Ukrainian people to freedom of speech and information.” Even Russia-developed 1C accounting software has been banned. The channel said that this “complicates the work of Ukrainian accountants” because Ukraine does not have its own Russian-language “full-fledged software for accounting purposes.”

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.