TV News in Russia – September, 2016

How the News is Reported in Russia
September, 2016

Internship in RussiaAccording to a 2016 poll by the independent Levada Center, 80% of Russians view television as thier 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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Two Weeks before Duma Elections, Experts Promise Surprises


First Channel quoted the Director of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center Valery Fedorov as saying that the three out of four political parties which currently hold the Duma seats, are likely to stay in the Duma, and none of the parties not currently in the Duma stand a chance to win seats. Fedorov states that, although voters are tired of the old political parties, the new parties failed to propose interesting and sound programs. In addition, maintaining stability in Russia is important for voters, and they don’t want drastic changes, he stated.

“Super Brain” of 39 Servers will Work on Elections


Russia Channel reports that the Duma election campaign has an unprecedentedly large scale as twice as many political parties are involved compared with the previous election – fourteen versus seven, with 10 candidates competing for one Duma seat. The election data will be processed using new equipment – a 25-meter multimedia screen which will indicate the vote count on each of the candidates in real-time, processed by 39 servers run by the Vybory (Elections) State Automated System. The servers will be able to perform dozens of operations simultaneously, to facilitate “having elections which are clean to a maximum extent,” Russia Channel stated.

Neither Winners nor Losers Dispute Election Results


First Channel reports that the United Russia party had an overwhelming Duma election victory, which is “an impressive result, although the situation in the country is not easy, the economy is experiencing difficulties, and people’s income went down.” The channel states that United Russia managed to win the campaign because it is “the most democratic party.” The channel said that this was so because United Russia had held primaries, nominated many new candidates who are not bureaucrats, but rather professionals from different areas, and the party’s agenda was about the issues essential to people, not about abstract issues.

The channel states that the “hardline opposition suffered a crushing defeat” because it “criticized the history of its own country,” “called for repentance,” “criticized Russia’s sound foreign policy, calling for agreement with the mighty of the world,” and because the “hardline” opposition believed that “the people are stupid, and they (the parties) are clever.”

A number of opposition candidates such as former Chairman of Yabloko party Sergey Mitrokhin, former Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov and co-chairman of Parnas party Vladimir Gudkov lost the elections in their electoral constituencies.

Previous Duma Chairman, Sergey Naryshkin has been appointed the Director of Foreign Intelligence Service, and President Putin nominated first deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration Vyacheslav Volodin to the post of the Duma Chairman.

Presidential Campaign in USA Continues. Which of the Candidates is the Lesser of Two Evils?


First Channel states that more than half of Americans are not satisfied with the two candidates of the current presidential election, and this is a unique situation in the history of US elections. The channel states that “the American political system is defective. Every new US President is weaker than the previous one,” and “this starts to resemble the late Soviet Union” where, despite the powerful system of personnel selection set up by the Communist party, people who came to in 1985, destroyed the huge country in six years.”

Clinton: Trump will Allow Putin to Do Everything


Russia Channel quotes US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as saying about her opponent Donald Trump that “bizarrely, once again he praised Russia’s strongman Vladimir Putin – even taking the astonishing step of suggesting that he prefers the Russian president to our American president. Now, that is not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country as well as to our commander-in-chief – it is scary because it suggests he’ll let Putin do whatever Putin wants to do and then make excuses for him.” Russia Channel states that all the attacks on Trump are just the way to “kick the issue of the foreign policy into the long grass,” and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is directly responsible for the failures in the Middle East and Ukraine as “without the direction set by Clinton, the USA would not have found itself in the deadlock of these problems.”

“Putin Gave a Lesson in Political Judo”


Russia Channel reports that during the economic forum in Vladivostok at the beginning of September, President Putin gave Japan hope that a compromise over the disputed Southern Kuril islands might be possible. However, the Russian president set “rise of the level of trust” as the condition for the compromise. The channel compared Putin’s move with the judo culture where a partner is watched, and every partner’s move is analyzed. Russia Channel states that, in fact, “Putin promised nothing to the Japanese, on the contrary, he started from the statement that “Russia does not sell its territories.” Putin also said that reconsidering the results of the World War II is impossible since it would open “Pandora’s box.” However, he stated that a solution should be found where “none of the parties is the loser or winner.”

Athletes from 62 Countries Came to the World Nomad Games


Russia Channel reports that the Second World Nomad Games took place on the shores of Issyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan. 1,500 athletes from 62 countries participated in the competition in 16 traditional sports, such as falconry and javelin throwing. The World Nomad Games are to be held once per two years on the shores of Issyk-Kul Lake.

Police Lieutenant Nurbaganov Posthumously Awarded Title of Hero of Russia


First Channel reports that in Dagestan, police officer Magomed Nurbaganov displayed courage in the face of death, which became known all over Russia. He was captured by armed militants when he was camping with relatives. An armed militant demanded that Nurgabandov say, on camera, at gunpoint, to tell his colleagues to quit law enforcement. Instead, Nurgabandov said to the camera “Work, brothers!” The militants immediately shot him. The video was loaded to the Internet and went viral. President Putin signed a decree on naming Nurbaganov a Hero of Russia posthumously for faithfulness to oath, and the President met with the officer’s parents. A monument to the brave officer will be erected in Dagestani capital Makhachkala, and a street will be named after him.

New Money: What Cities will be on Banknotes


Russia Channel reports that a contest is underway to name symbols of Russia for new 200-rouble and 2,000-rouble bills. Among the entries to list on the new banknotes is Chersonesus, known as the birthplace of Russian civilization, Sebastopol, the Homeland Mother Statue in Volgograd, the mountain ski resort Rosa Khutor in Sochi, Baikal Lake, and Vostochny Space Port, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and the Kazan Kremlin, Kizhi National Park near Petrozavodsk, the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, and the city of Vladimir with its Golden Gate and great cathedrals.

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.