TV News in Russia – April, 2017

How the News is Reported in Russia
April, 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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Rallies Against Corruption

First Channel states that “provocations continue” in its report about street rallies, denouncing the rally organizers for “deceiving people” by holding a rally on Moscow’s major thoroughfare, Tverskaya Street, without permission. The channel also criticizes the participants of the rallies for “taking the hook like foolish fish.” Corruption should be confronted, the channel states, but people should be careful, as “the key slogan of Maidan in Ukraine was to eradicate corruption, but then they made a coup, and corruption in Ukraine did not decrease, it increased.” First Channel concludes that “the real goal of such provocations is creating chaos and destroying the state.”

 After Terrorist Attack, “Support and Compassion” in St. Petersburg

First Channel reports that 13 people were killed and more than 60 people were injured in the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. The second bomb was disarmed by special services, and one more bomb was found in the terrorist’s apartment. First Channel states that people did not panic after the explosion in the metro, they helped each other. The engine driver saved people by not stopping the train after the blast, but reaching the station where the victims were provided with medical aid and then evacuated.

St. Petersburg Suicide Bomber Not Typical Terrorist: Who Turn People into Murderers and How

First Channel reports thathe 22-yeard old suicide bomber in St. Petersburg was Uzbek but born in Kyrgyzstan. He was described as a non-confrontational and sensitive boy and had no interest in religion. At the age of 18, he started his first job as a cook in a sushi-bar in St. Petersburg. His co-workers liked him, he always did his job well and helped others, even lent money to his workmates. Then he quit, saying he had found a new job, and disappeared. Police investigations revealed that he had been recruited into a terrorist group by Central Asian members.

First Channel stated that “there are many people from Central Asia living in St. Petersburg, some of them do not have registration and are engaged in criminal activities, from selling illegal alcohol and stolen things, to more serious crimes.”

The channel also stated that one day after the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, radical Islamists killed a traffic police crew in the city of Astrakhan, and one day later, another group of militants attacked policemen again.

Some Oppositionists Have Shocking Response to Terrorist Attack

First Channel denounced some opposition politicians for “rubbing their hands (with joy), and taking advantage of grief to poke the authorities and promote themselves.” As examples, First Channel named Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who it quoted as saying: “disgusting, it reminds the events in Moscow at the beginning of the reign,” referring to the apartment bombings that occurred just after Vladimir Putin came to power and which Khodorkovsky believes were the work of Vladimir Putin. The channel also named Rustem Adagamov who said that “the slogan of ‘freedom in exchange of safety’ does not work a damned bit. Millions of special services were bred, but explosions in the metro happen just as before.” Leonid Gozman, another oppositionist, was also quoted as saying that “freedoms would be restricted again,” which he said was also done after the attack in Beslan in 2004.

Russians Express Support for St. Petersburg

Russia Channel reports that public demonstrations occurred in 50 towns and cities of Russia to show solidarity with those mourning in St. Petersburg after the terror attack there. In Khabarovsk, demonstration participants braved rain to stand in their central square. In Moscow, 55 thousand people arrived to a demonstration. Meanwhile, Russia Channel denounced those people who sneered online at these events, saying that those not willing to sympathize with others, should at least “refrain from sarcastic comments.”

President Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Agreed Visit of Japanese Officials and Businessmen to Southern Kuril Islands

First Channel reports that the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, visited Moscow and had talks with President Putin. They continued the discussions started during the visit of President Putin in Japan in December 2016. The channel quoted President Putin as saying that the two leaders discussed joint economic activities in the Southern Kurils. Shinzo Abe said in a First Channel interview that the Russians and Japanese will be jointly working fish and sea urchin farms on the islands, and that tourism will also be developed there and living standards will be raised for Russian residents there.

The Whole Christian World Celebrates the Resurrection of Christ

First Channel reports that this year, the calendars of churches match, and Orthodox Christians and Catholics will celebrate Easter on the same day. This is an uncommon event as the Orthodox calculation of the date of Easter differs from that used by Catholics and Protestant religions. In Moscow, the President, the Prime Minister and the mayor of Moscow participated in Easter Service at Christ the Savior Cathedral. The service was held by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

Russia Channel reports that Easter was celebrated in all churches across Russia, from Chukotka to St. Petersburg. In Moscow, the Holy Fire was delivered from Jerusalem to the Christ the Savior Cathedral where night service took place. President Putin wished Orthodox Christians and all Russians happy Easter, saying that Easter celebrations affirm “timeless values and the ideals of society.”

Cucumber Jam, Hairy Crab Liver, and Moose Meat – Culinary Tourism in Russia. Those Who Have Tried Will Never Forget

First Channel states that Russia has a unique variety of cuisine of different regions and nations. This attracts tourists, and tourists come to Karelia to learn to cook, for example, local rye pies with potatoes and millet. Others come to Suzdal and learn to make cucumber jam. For tourists, a gastronomic map of Russia is currently being prepared. For example, this map will indicate where tourists can taste smelt fish, hairy crab, or drinks of berries and herbs.

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,, 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.