VIDEO: US Envoy to Russia Slams Moscow’s Pending Curbs on US-funded News Outlets

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

(Voice of America – VOA’s Daniel Schearf contributed to this report – WASHINGTON – November 20, 2017) [Video and article also appeared at voanews.com/a/us-ambassador-to-russia-attacks-on-us-funded-agencies/4125489.html] The U.S. ambassador to Russia has attacked Moscow’s move toward forcing nine United States government-funded news operations to register as “foreign agents” as “a reach beyond” what the U.S. government did in requiring the Kremlin-funded RT television network […]

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Kremlin to Target All Foreign Media Amid U.S. ‘Foreign Agent’ Spat

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2017) All international media outlets in Russia could be hit with new restrictions as part of an escalating media tit-for-tat between Moscow and the United States. The Kremlin’s RT news network agreed to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. by Monday following U.S. allegations it interfered in the 2016 presidential election. […]

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What You Need to Know About RT’s Pending Foreign Agent Registration; A law dating back to the 1930s could send U.S.-Russia relations spiraling

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – November 10, 2017) An obscure U.S. law, meant to guard against foreign propaganda, has been the driving force behind escalating U.S.-Russia tensions in recent weeks. Designed nearly a century ago, it could now force the Kremlin’s RT news outlet to register as a “foreign agent” – and push the precipitous U.S.-Russia relations […]

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Roskomnadzor not preparing coercive measures against U.S. media, social networks – head of agency

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – The Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor is currently not preparing any coercive measures against the U.S. media, including CNN and social networks, Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said. “Speaking about now, we are working within the legal framework and we are not preparing any specific actions on the U.S. media and U.S. social networks,” he told reporters […]

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Ellen Mickiewicz: Re: “New York Times on RT and YouTube”

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

Subject: New York Times on RT and YouTube Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@duke.edu> New York Times on RT and YouTube Ellen Mickiewicz James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Duke University In the New York Times of October 24, 2017, a front-page story repeats some of the errors about the U.S. audience for […]

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NEWSLINK: “A Russian Take on ‘The Americans’ Scares Moscow Liberals; The political conversation in Putin’s Russia increasingly revolves around cinematic versions of reality.” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov » Read more

Interfax: Russian minister says no tit-for-tat response in media war

Satellite Dishes

(Interfax – October 18, 2017) Russia’s Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has said Russia should not take analogous retaliatory measures in response to any action by the American authorities regarding Moscow’s English-language station RT, including any bans, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 18 October. “If our colleagues [USA] take any unilateral steps, of course Russia will prepare some reply. […]

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Russian Director Vows To Quit Cinema After ‘Hysteria’ Over TV Spy Thriller

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 17, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-director-vows-to-quit-cinema-after-tv-spy-thriller/28800376.html) Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents battle fifth columnists and CIA “sleeper” cells bent on sowing chaos and torpedoing a gas deal with China. Americans seeking a “colored revolution” try to frame Russia for the assassination of an […]

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Russian Translator Censors Putin Questions at Game of Thrones Q&A

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 16, 2017) Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is known for his excessively gorey plot twists, but for his Russian translator, exposing the writer to questions about President Vladimir Putin would have been a step too far. When a journalist from the Fontanka.ru outlet asked Martin during a press conference in St. Petersburg […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian propaganda has flooded U.S. airwaves. How about some reciprocity?” – Washington Post editorial

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

  “… The asymmetry is a problem. … Putin’s government, intent on undermining liberal democracies by casting doubt on the very notion of truth, and sowing division and doubt about basic Western institutions, has become increasingly adept at weaponizing information. U.S. intelligence agencies have called attention to Moscow’s fake news campaign, as have U.S. allies in Europe. … The wild […]

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Two New Signs Russians are Ceasing to Trust the Kremlin’s Messages

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 25, 2017) In a lead article today, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say that for the first time fewer than half of all Russians say they trust government TV in large part because the economy and its problems are the primary focus of Russians in their everyday lives but the last […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Across Russia, Protesters and Kremlin Backers Seek the Upper Hand; In towns like Izhevsk, a reinvigorated opposition is running into efforts to nip the movement in the bud” – Wall Street Journal/ James Marson

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… Protest leaders face fines and jail time for minor infractions, relatives of activists receive warnings from bosses, and students are told not to attend rallies, according to opposition supporters. … The movement has energized Russia’s youth, who make up the bulk of protesters. … But protests are still relatively small. Opposition leaders say people are preoccupied with their own problems, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Will the cliche of the ‘Russian baddie’ ever leave our screens? With James Norton starring in McMafia, an upcoming BBC drama about a mob family, the country’s criminal image shows no sign of disappearing” – The Guardian (UK)/ Stuart Jeffries

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Will McMafia buck or conform to the stereotypes? On the lawn of Munden House, James Norton tells the Guide that he hopes his performance will remind us that Russians are different to what is considered the norm on cinema and TV. He says that one reason he wanted to play Alex, the Anglo-Russian who’s both revolted and seduced by […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin Seduced Oliver Stone – and Trump” – New York Times/ Masha Gessen

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“Watching four hours of Oliver Stone interviewing President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not a lesson in journalism. Mr. Stone is an inept interviewer, and he does not get Mr. Putin to say anything the world hasn’t heard from him before. Watching the interviews for entertainment is a questionable proposition, too: The four-part series contains many dull exchanges and even […]

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Why Putin Isn’t Laughing at Russia’s Foul-Mouthed YouTube Craze

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer – June 19, 2017) Nikolai Sobolev’s acute sense of what’s on the minds of his young audience has made his expletive-laced video blog one of Russia’s hottest. But after a steady diet of topics like teen angst, the 23-year-old found an unexpected new issue was taking off this spring: opposition […]

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VIDEOS & LINKS: Watch All Four Parts of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” [on/from] Vimeo

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

VIDEOS & LINKS: Watch all four parts of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” on Vimeo [links and embedded video below] Transcript: skyhorsepublishing.com/titles/13188-9781510733428-putin-interviews Showtime series site: sho.com/the-putin-interviews#/closed Part One https://vimeo.com/222012543 THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS / OLIVER STONE PART ONE from patrice greanville on Vimeo. Part Two https://vimeo.com/221567261 The Putin Interviews | Part 2 | Oliver Stone & Vladimir Putin from vbulahtin on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin propaganda comes to Showtime. Putin smirks in this trailer when Oliver Stone asks him ‘Why did Russia hack the election?'” – Andrew S. Weiss @andrewsweiss

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

(Andrew S. Weiss – @andrewsweiss – Twitter – May 1, 2017) [Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment. Russia and Eurasia Program] Kremlin propaganda comes to Showtime. Putin smirks in this trailer when Oliver Stone asks him “Why did Russia hack the election?” Showtime Doc Films @SHO_Docs No topic is off limits. The Putin Interviews, a revealing series of interviews between […]

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Ellen Mickiewicz: “New info re RT”

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

Subject: New info re RT Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2017 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@gmail.com> Ellen Mickiewicz James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy Studies in the Sanford Institute for Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at Duke University. Maxim Audinet’s piece about RT in Le Monde diplomatique [JRL#65] provides data that are partly right, partly not. Does the corrective […]

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Almost Half of Russians Say They Can’t Distinguish Truth from Lies in Moscow Media

Satellite Dishes

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 15, 2017) Almost half of Russians – 46 percent – say that they often cannot distinguish “false information from truth” in media reports, while a similar percentage – 46 percent say that they can, numbers that are relatively constant across groups of different ages and social classes, according to Aleksey Levinson […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the News is Reported in Russia” – The School of Russian and Eurasian Studies/Andrei Nesterov

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

“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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The Kremlin Reportedly Commissioned a Report on Russian State TV, and the Results Were Oof

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kevin Rothrock – February 28, 2017) The Putin administration commissioned an independent expert analysis of Russian network television, according to the news site Znak.com. The study was reportedly prepared in particular for Sergei Kiriyenko, the president’s first deputy chief of staff. Znak.com says a private company was hired to “make sense of the reality depicted […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A way to get real news to Russia; A U.S. attempt to counter disinformation takes shape in Current Time” – Washington Post

Satellite Dishes

… Current Time television, a product of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America, is a 24/7 Russian-language television network based in Prague … aimed at audiences inside Russia as well as the borderlands of the former Soviet Union. … intended to provide ‘fair and accurate reporting, serving as a reality check on disinformation that is driving conflict […]

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Russians Less Convinced by Political Talk Shows than Audience Figures Suggest, Journalists Say

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 2, 2017) Significant percentages of Russians watch political talk shows which now make up as much as 90 minutes of prime time every night, but that fact does not mean that they are entirely pleased by the structure and content of these shows or are greatly influenced in ways that help […]

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Streaming Wars: The Real Fight Behind Russia’s False YouTube ‘Ban’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 30, 2016) Internet video giant YouTube will not be forced out of Russia under a new bill regulating online streaming services, the Russian government has confirmed. “We can officially say that all talk of YouTube facing legal restrictions is simply not true,” Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin told the Rambler News Service on Wednesday. […]

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Ukraine blacklists over 500 films and TV series

File Photo of Reel of Film

KYIV. Nov 30 (Interfax) – The National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine has published a list of films and television series which have been banned by the Ukrainian State Film Agency from screening in 2014-2016. The list, which includes 544 audiovisual works, was published on the Council’s website on Wednesday. “In 2014-2016 the State Film Agency denied […]

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Five Rules for Living Through and Looking Beyond the Putin Stagnation

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 20, 2016) Those who lived through the Brezhnev stagnation, commentator Dmitry Gubin says, know that “when the chances for change for the better don’t exist, one must particularly carefully filter information and choose one’s strategy of behavior.” Now, Russia is in another such period, and to help them, he offers five […]

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Boycott Russia Today facebook page: “BRT reading list of critical online articles about RT, 2010-2016”

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Facebook – Boycott Russia Today facebook page – reused with permission) Bullough, Oliver (2013) Inside Russia Today: counterweight to the mainstream media, or Putin’s mouthpiece?: http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/world-affairs/2013/05/inside-russia-today-counterweight-mainstream-media-or-putins-mou Fitzpatrick, Catherine (2010) More Moral Equivalency from Vadim Nikitin: http://3dblogger.typepad.com/minding_russia/2010/04/more-moral-equivalency-from-vadim-nikitin.html Gray, Rosie (2014) How The Truth Is Made At Russia Today: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/how-the-truth-is-made-at-russia-today Ioffe, Julia (2010) What Is Russia Today? http://www.cjr.org/feature/what_is_russia_today.php?page=all Kincaid, Cliff (2011) Russian […]

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Turning our backs on Ukraine

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Two years after the tumultuous events of 2014, Ukraine is falling out of international media – with consequences for Ukraine’s democracy. (opendemocracy.org – Ian Bateson – May 11, 2016) Ian Bateson is a foreign correspondent living in Kiev, Ukraine. He has written for Reuters, the Guardian, the Daily Beast and AL Jazeera. He tweets as @ianbateson. Over the past year, […]

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Standing Up for Reason: Russian Academia Fights Pseudoscience

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – February 22, 2016) A young woman named Nikol looks to the camera, wiping away what seem to be tears of happiness. She has reason to be happy, having navigated through to the next round of the Russian television show “Battle of the Psychics.” Somehow, she had managed to select the one car […]

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Russians Still Get News from TV But Trust It Far Less than They Did, Gudkov Says

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 21, 2016) More than eight out of ten Russians still get their news from television, but the share of them trusting that source has fallen from 79 percent in 2008 to only 41 percent now, a trend that is leading ever more of them to rely on family members and close […]

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Moscow’s Steamship Bolshoi Keeps Rolling

Bolshoi Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Raymond Stults – February 9, 2016) [DJ: Bolshoi Babylon available on HBO in the US] In the summer of 2013, a British film production team was given unprecedented access to the Bolshoi Theater for purposes of making a documentary about the theater’s inner workings. Titled “Bolshoi Babylon,” the film made its debut on cable television […]

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Andrew Davies’ New ‘War and Peace’ Takes the Small Screen by Storm

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Des Brown – January 27, 2016) British screenwriter Andrew Davies is television’s best English literature lecturer. He introduced homicidal British Prime Minister Francis Urquhart to BBC viewers in the “House of Cards” trilogy between 1990 and 1995. Just over two decades ago, a wet-shirted Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy captured the national imagination in Davies’ […]

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Netflix’s Desire for World Domination Reaches Russia

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – January 15, 2016) China, the world’s most populous country, might have slipped through its fingers, but with Russia Netflix in January pocketed the largest country by landmass and the promise of tapping into a booming online market. Netflix’s move into Russia, along with 129 other countries, was heralded by its CEO as […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Russians Read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in 60-Hour TV Marathon”

Leo Tolstoy file photo

AP covers a televised reading of War and Peace. More than 1,300 Russians are reading Leo Tolstoy’s notoriously lengthy novel “War and Peace” aloud in a 60-hour marathon on national television. The public readings, pre-recorded at locations all over Russia, from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to remote Arctic islands, have been coordinated by Tolstoy’s great-great-granddaughter and feature Russians […]

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Patron Saint Of Russian Journalism Despairs Over Putin’s Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(RFE/RL – Roman Super, Robert Coalson – MOSCOW – September 20, 2015) If Russian journalism has a patron saint, his name is Yasen Zasursky. The ailing 85-year-old headed the Moscow State University (MGU) journalism department for more than 40 years before becoming its president emeritus in 2007. The roster of respected journalists who received their diplomas from him is astounding: […]

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Ukrainian Culture Ministry makes list of 117 Russian performers threatening national security

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – July 8, 2015) By way of implementing the law On Amendments to Certain Laws on the Protection of TV and Radio Space of Ukraine the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture has made a list of 117 performing artists from Russia that has been submitted to the relevant authorities, the ministry’s website says. The report notes that by way of […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Dismissal of American vice rector in Nizhny Novgorod causes controversy

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – July 3, 2015) The dismissal of an American lecturer from a leading position at a Russian university following an “incriminating” report on television sparked talk of an increase in the harassment of foreigners. Russian lawmakers are planning to introduce a “patriotic stop list” – a list of foreign funds […]

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Kremlin Critic Emerges From Coma

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – June 2, 2015) Friends and allies of prominent Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who mysteriously fell ill with poisoning symptoms in Moscow, say he has regained consciousness after a weeklong coma. “Vladimir has come out of a coma,” former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in a June 2 tweet. Kara-Murza, 33, is a coordinator for Open […]

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Russia’s Biggest Social Network VK Beats Television in Battle for Viewers

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 8, 2015) Russia’s leading social network VK has beaten the country’s biggest television channel in the battle for viewers’ attention, data from media research firm TNS Russia showed. VK, previously known as VKontakte, had 13.2 million daily users in March this year, while state-owned giant Channel One had an audience of […]

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Putin gives the world his geography lesson: ‘All the former USSR is Russia’

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – April 28, 2015) The 150-minute film “The President” about Vladimir Putin is mostly boring and predictable in that it insists that “without Vladimir Vladimirovich nothing in the country will work,” Kseniya Kirillova notes. But she points out that there are three “lessons” contained in the film that must not be ignored. First, she argues, […]

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Over 1.5 million questions asked in upcoming Putin’s Q&A session

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) – Over 1.5 million questions have been asked in the upcoming Q&A session of President Vladimir Putin to begin at noon on April 16. “We have received 1.2 million calls, approximately 24,000 MMS messages, 285,000 text messages, 6,500 video questions and almost 190,000 e-mails sent to the website,” Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. Russians wishing […]

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Soviet-Style Censorship Returns to Russian Arts

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman, Moscow Times Theater Critic – April 3, 2015) How many bulls does it take to trash a china shop? We may have an answer by the time the dust settles in a seemingly self-refueling controversy that keeps swirling around an opera house in Novosibirsk. Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said this week on […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Putin’s Disinformation Matrix

Satellite Dishes

Russia Today, the Kremlin’s English-language TV organ, launched a U.K. edition earlier this month. Headquartered near Westminster, the channel will beam RT’s signature blend of propaganda and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorizing into millions of British homes. Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s disinformation matrix. RT is merely one part of the Kremlin’s aggressive media effort, as a new Institute of Modern Russia report […]

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NEWSWATCH BBC: Brand Putin: Russia’s president still in fashion 15 years on

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

[“Brand Putin: Russia’s president still in fashion 15 years on” – BBC News – Sarah Rainsford – Moscow, March 27, 2015] The BBC examines Russia President Vladimir Putin’s personal notoriety and power as political symbol. Fifteen years ago, Vladimir Putin was elected promising to make Russia strong again: a country its citizens could be proud of and that the world would respect. * […]

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Interfax: Russia licenses CNN broadcaster

CNN Screenshot With News About Ukraine and Russia and Air Disaster

MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) – Russia has issued a universal broadcast license to CNN, press secretary of the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) Vadim Ampelonsky told Interfax. “An order to issue a universal broadcast license to CNN has been signed,” he noted. The newspaper Izvestia said earlier that CNN International […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian state TV’s Crimea film attracts audience share of 40 per cent – research

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(RIA Novosti – March 17, 2015) Russian state television’s heavily promoted drama-documentary about the annexation of Crimea, “Crimea: The Road to the Motherland”, attracted an audience share of 39.6 per cent of viewers aged 18 and over, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 17 March, quoting data from market researchers TNS Gallup Media. The programme was shown on […]

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