This resource looks at Russian news broadcasts and presents each with rhetorical and contextual analysis as well as a brief vocabulary list aimed at intermediate-level Russian students. We hope that these will be of interest to anyone hoping to build Russian language skills or to better understand policy, policy implementation, and policy spin in Russia.
According 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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First Channel devoted a lengthy report on the initial work to implement Russia’s 12 National Projects. Mandated by President Putin, the projects will together see a total investment of 20 trillion rubles into various social and economic spheres in Russia. A major forum was recently held in the Moscow region that called a wide array of governors, federal officials, academics, and others together to discuss how the projects will move forward.
The report said that the first year of the six allotted for the implementation of the national projects, was spent on developing a detailed action plan. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the forum participants that “we all are in the same boat” and “the most important thing is for this boat to go in the right direction.” The national projects include investment into physical infrastructure like roads, rails, and housing, as well as into human capital – developing education and healthcare.
Much of the report was devoted to showing, in passing, flowcharts and graphics as well as a number of very well-known faces either attending or presenting, giving the impression that something is ready to be done even though a full year has been spent only on planning. However, the report also stated that each project has strictly designated deadlines, and the regional governors will be given broad powers to implement the projects at their discretion, leaving one to wonder if power is being decentralized or if the governors will assume their traditional roles as scapegoats if the projects are not realized successfully.
Phrases to watch for:
период, отведенный на – period allotted for
разработка детального плана действий – development of a detailed action plan
мы все в одной лодке – we are all in the same boat
шла в правильном направлении – was going in the right direction
строго обозначенные сроки – strictly designated deadlines
расширение полномочий – broadening of powers
большая свобода действий – greater discretion