March 19, 2015

Russian Television Spring — 2015

As part of the new heading “Information Security” the Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies “Borysfen-Intel” offers a closer look at the features of the functioning of instruments of Russian television and its transformation according to the tasks of today's massive information campaign directed against Western countries and Ukraine, as well as to the domestic Russian audience.

The functioning of the information field in Russia today — is, at first glance, a rather chaotic, but at the same time, an interesting and purposeful process, developing on an upward curve and is now at the very top of it. In fact — at apogee.

The range of Russia's tools in the information-propaganda field is wide enough and today includes: television, radio, print media, books, movies and, of course, electronic media (Internet, social networks, chat rooms, blogs, and so and so forth). And this is far from a complete list.

The main feature of functioning of Russia's advocacy environment today is that it is fully engaged in a massive public information campaign aimed at the leadership, political forces and population of Western countries, Ukraine and also at the actual population of Russia. The main objectives of this campaign are as follows: justification of Russia's annexation of the Crimea (revealing in this regard is the documentary film “Crimea. Way Back to Homeland”); “proof” of the Russian side's non-participation in the military aggression in the South-East of Ukraine (“vacationers”, “conscious volunteers,” “lost and strayed at trainings,” “weapons, bought in post exchanges”); imposing the point of view of the ineffectiveness of the international political and economic sanctions against Russia and harmfulness of such a policy to western countries themselves; opposition of the interests of the USA and Europe, pushing their positions, as well as comprehensive and cynical discredit of Ukraine, its statehood, the country's leadership, foreign and domestic policy.

Each tool of Russia's advocacy sphere, whether television, print media or electronic, has its “audience”, mechanisms for control and influence, as well as models of functioning and spreading.


National Russian television today has actually transformed into a basic tool of advocacy campaign in Russia, aimed at the struggle for the minds of people in Western countries and in Ukraine, as well as of Russia's own people.

While a couple of years ago, the whole news life of the country was in television programs “Novosti” (“News”) and “Vesti” (“Messages/ News”), now it is an integral and what is important — managed industry. A few years ago, Russia had also its own TV News Service (TSN), which each hour was talking about what was happening in and around the country, and then for some reason it became not needed. Because what for? What for should people know what really is going on in their country and in the world? One and only program “Vremya” (“Time”) at 9 p.m. is enough. In it all the words and all proposals of the “right news” will be polished, and each just a little free inhale and exhale will be simply “ripped out”.

So, we can say that with V. Putin's coming to power, in Russia started preparations and successful establishment of not yet sufficiently known and tried, but actually quite effective television network of guaranteed zombieing of the country's population.

The first sign in this sense was the channel RT (Russia Today). After all, having first appeared in the English version, (the Russian version was “added” later) — it's hard not to understand that the channel was originally targeted not at Russia alone. A little later, there appeared new versions of the same channel Russia Today, work on which is carried out according to the principle: here I am — Putin, I am always here, I am always with you, we are fine. Do you not believe me??? Wait a minute, comrade zombie, we'll translate, correct, replace, strengthen… And now, Russia Today on more than 10 available satellites broadcasts “its news” in Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic and other languages. A mechanism of Russia Today's work is quite simple, and the result is obvious: work quietly, consistently and calmly, confidently talk about good, when you are needed — you will be informed.

Then there appears (with the support of ВГТРК (All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) the Russian version of EuroNews, which is gladly included by almost all cable network operators of Russia. Well, why not? Everything is good! We do not mind being talked about — we have gas, and what do you have? Let's omit the fact that in the Russian version of EuroNews the translation not always equaled the original; more important was the fact that they translated “correctly” and quickly, but only what the Kremlin needed.

Then puzzles begin. The only opposition Russian TV channel “Dozhd” (“Rain”) suddenly is deprived of its license. Having re-read several times the court's decision, at first it is very difficult to understand: because of what? Then it becomes clear: this decision was due to the fact that “Dozhd” is the only Russian TV channel, which was impartially covering all the events on the Maydan, including live broadcast of the most terrible of its days (18-20 February 2014). Finally, the court's decision was (as usual) taken at night. As a result, TV channel “Dozhd” was thrown away from the television networks, though not from the Internet yet (although attempts keep being made), but then to throw it away from the Internet will be more difficult.

In the light of the events provoked by Russia around the Crimea and Ukraine, as well as in connection with Russian EuroNews and CNN's having left Russia, for zombies to stay in the right (for Putin) condition, it was necessary to urgently do something. And on the Russian television there sparkles the “star” of LifeNews. Well, of course, there is the News, and the people do not care whether it is Euronews or LifeNews. They are used to watch “News”! And Putin again is tall in the saddle!

As a result, they create their “own” private television network, and it's kind of like an independent television (information) space. But having watched the news on one channel, you go to another, third, fourth... and on all channels you see the same journalist with the same news. The impression is that the news are created on the principle of “one for all”. And there is no other opinion. It could not be. It should not be! After all, if everyone starts thinking independently and logically, the way Homo sapiens is supposed to think, then what for are these “news” needed?

Today, in the “association of Putin's television friends” in addition to the First Channel (ORT), the network ВГТРК (Channels Russia 1, Russia 2, Russia 24), “Stars” there have been added, of course, NTV (“Gazprom”), RenTV, TNT, TV Center... Well, in general, the list is quite impressive, including all the state and almost all private television channels of Russia.

Can't help mentioning separately the television channel “MIR” (“MИР”), allegedly created as a channel of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). This channel used to “wonderfully” covering events of Ukrainians cutting and killing children. At this, the TV channel “MIR” broadcasts from Belarus and against this background, Mr. Lukashenko looks very strange — the Ukrainian people's neighbor, friend and almost brother. It is strange that this almost “Mr. Nice Guy” and “dad”, in this case, prohibits the country's national democratic channels, and the only independent Belarus' TV channel “BelSat” broadcasts from Poland!!!

Brazen, openly and frankly cynical anti-Ukrainian Russian propaganda is seen almost everywhere and in everything. It makes no difference whether those are Russian TV channels or television channels of Russia's satellite countries, who stupidly duplicate Russian “news”. That is, Putin can be satisfied with his “TV jackals”.

In minutes, when you are looking through the above-mentioned channels, there is a wish to turn over the satellite dish, well, at least somewhere off them... well, at least to the Astra. But there are only Germans and Austrians with RTL and ARD on there. Everything is in German (European!). Then again, we do not know the language. Give us only Russian, though we Ukrainians and Europeans! We return the dish to the Hot Bird, where, as usual, there are the familiar Russia Today and Channel One… with the Kremlin news. We are sick of it!

The situation is unique — now everyone in the world knows the truth and they all shout in chorus that Moscow is lying, and at the same time they themselves help to spread the Russian propaganda, shameless lies, and twisted idea of the real situation around the Crimea in particular and in Ukraine in general. And why is it so and not otherwise? Because contracts have been signed and all have been paid for everything with blood-oil dollars and Euros. Russia has paid for blatant rape of Ukraine, for the death and blood of Ukrainians, for the fact that Ukrainians are the only ones who does not let Putin's rushists-bandits to the democratic Europe, “constantly concerned about the events around Ukraine”.

Doesn't the West realize that it may happen so that it will be actually too late for Europe to respond to Russia's informational expansion, because Russia has already put Moldova, Georgia, the Baltic countries and Poland in line for the “hybrid war” after Ukraine. Oh, and as for the CIS countries, the next of them will be Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, yes and Belarus headed by its “dad”. Ambitious Putin will never forget and never forgive “dad's” statements and insults in recent years addressed to Putin! You don't know whether to laugh or cry! Well, pure gang issues between “allies”!

So, where do we see the Commonwealth of Independent States here? Has at least one of all these “independent states” of the CIS, called on its TV channels everything happening around Ukraine by its real name? Or maybe the “commonwealth” has initiated discussion of this issue at least at some summit (meeting, sitting, assembly, round table) of the CIS countries, raised the question about the role and place of Russia in the armed seizure and burglarious annexation of the Crimea or about the fratricidal war against Ukraine at the Donbas? Somehow, we have not heard about this on the TV channel “MIR”, or at least on a channel of one CIS country. We have not heard from the entire “community” either! Everyone is afraid of Putin, everyone will faithfully look into his mouth, and everyone will delightfully lick his hands.

Well, as the results of the above-mentioned estimates and forecasts, it is necessary and appropriate in these circumstances to advise satellite TV providers to suspend the retransmission of the Russian content, which according to the rules of trans-border (international) television violates several points, namely:

  • a ban on provision/spreading of information, leading to ethnic hatred, confirmed by two or more media;
  • a ban on the provision/spreading of false information to a wide range of audiences;
  • a ban on the provision/spreading of information facilitating the organization and carrying out terrorist activities.

Experts believe that even these three points will be enough for Western operators/tenants of satellite broadcasting frequencies to suspend all that Putin and company so much want to see and hear.