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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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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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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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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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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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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Russia’s Dozhd TV Defies Crackdown by Continuing Broadcasts From Apartment

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – December 9, 2014) Russia’s main independent television channel, Dozhd, has been forced to leave its Moscow studio for the second time in as many months, but is continuing its broadcasts from an apartment in the capital, news reports said. The digital channel has been struggling for survival ever since it was dropped […]

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The True Russia in Book ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – November 25, 2014) Television “is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” British producer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev says in his superb debut book “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which follows the author’s decade-long career in factual television set against the backdrop of Moscow’s mega-rich […]

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Interfax: State pollster denies Russian TV brainwashes viewers about Putin

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Russian TV is not a zombie box as it speaks of President Vladimir Putin not only in glowing terms but also carries criticisms of him, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), Valeriy Fedorov, has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 29 October, as reported by privately-owned […]

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Interfax: TV main source of info for most Russians on Ukraine events; over half believe it is unbiased – poll

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – August 29, 2014) An overwhelming majority of Russians – 94 percent – are following the events in Ukraine, and television remains the primary source of information for 93 percent of them, the Levada Center sociological service told Interfax with reference to a nationwide public opinion poll it conducted on August 22-25. About a quarter of respondents – 25 […]

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Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape and direct Russian opinion. In […]

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Arts world up in arms as Russia bans swearwords in films, books and TV

Movie Theater file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headliines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 2, 2014) A law making it illegal to use swearwords in television, movies, literature, media reporting, concerts, and theatrical productions entered into force on July 1. Violators will face stiff fines. Prominent figures have expressed their dismay over the ban, arguing that it will limit cultural expression. Russia’s […]

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50% of Russians Think TV Is Most Reliable Source of Information, Poll Shows

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 20, 2014) Half of all Russians consider television to be the most reliable source of information for domestic and international news coverage, a recent study of the Russian media environment has shown. The study published Tuesday by independent pollster Levada Center found that 50 percent of Russians – and 65 percent of Muscovites – […]

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The limitations of Russian propaganda in Ukraine; Russian TV is waging a propaganda war against Ukraine. But is it working?

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(opendemocracy.net – Joanna Szostek – June 11, 2014) Joanna Szostek is a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL The long propaganda campaign waged by Russian television channels against Ukraine’s political leadership and the West is continuing unabated. This past weekend, one Sunday night news programme headlined the ‘savagery’ (zverstvo) of ‘Fascism’ in Ukraine, which […]

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Kiselyov Defends TV Network After Caucasus Footage Labeled as Ukraine

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 20, 2014) The deputy chief of a pro-Kremlin television holding has dismissed as an “accidental error” his network’s use of footage from a gunfight in the North Caucasus to illustrate supposed recent anti-Russian violence in eastern Ukraine, a news report said. The footage – first used in a Rossiya television report […]

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Media Minister Says No Barriers Against Independent TV Channel Dozhd

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 29, 2014) Russia’s communications minister has said there is no reason why independent channel Dozhd cannot return to cable television packages, in a sign of hope for the cash-strapped station. Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikoforov said nothing was preventing Dozhd from being carried by cable television providers, and that the state was […]

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How opposition media survive in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Eremenko, RBTH – April 25, 2014) During his annual live TV call-in show on April 18, President Vladimir Putin promised that authorities will stop pressuring the liberal Dozhd TV channel. Dozhd (“Rain”) is now hoping to get picked up again by the cable providers that dropped it at the beginning of the […]

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Possible Light at the End of the Tunnel for Dozhd

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 21, 2014) A favorable comment made by President Vladimir Putin during his annual call-in show on Thursday seems to have triggered a change of fortune for embattled independent television channel Dozhd, which is threatened with closure after being dropped by numerous major television operators. “If the disappearance of Dozhd from […]

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Putin’s Call-In Show Set for April 17, Reports Say

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 7, 2014) President Vladimir Putin is expected to hold his annual call-in show on April 17, Russian media reports said Monday. The question-and-answer session will be broadcast on national television and radio stations and is expected to cover “Crimea, the international situation, the domestic economy and the ruble,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov […]

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New TV Show Turns Ethnic Tension Into Comedy

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 11, 2014) Russia’s largest television stations broadcast all over the country, bringing the same faces to Muscovites, Siberians and Caucasus natives alike. However, a new series is taking this a step further, representing Russia’s ethnic diversity in one sitcom family and confronting the controversial topic of race head on. A new […]

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Major Ukrainian TV provider drops Russian channels

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(RIA Novosti – March 12, 2014) One of Ukraine’s largest television providers has announced it will suspend broadcasts of several major Russian channels, the UNN Ukrainian news agency said Wednesday. The TV provider Volya, with about 20 percent of the market, said it was notifying subscribers across the country about the service changes, UNN reported. On Tuesday, the National Television […]

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Rossiya Segodnya Head Given Presidential Award

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2014) State television host Dmitry Kiselyov, known for his strong opposition to gay rights in Russia, has been awarded the Order of Service to the Fatherland by President Vladimir Putin. A presidential decree published on the government’s legal documents website said the honor was bestowed on Kiselyov for his contribution to Russia’s “social […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin and the media – Dreams about Russia – Beyond the spectacle of the Sochi Olympics is a crackdown on Russia’s media

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

[“Putin and the media – Dreams about Russia – Beyond the spectacle of the Sochi Olympics is a crackdown on Russia’s media” – The Economist – February 15, 2014 – economist.com/news/europe/21596580-beyond-spectacle-sochi-olympics-crackdown-russias-media-dreams-about-russia] The Economist reports on concerns over media freedoms in Russia, including actions taken in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics: Just as Vladimir Putin’s greatest project [the Sochi Olympics] […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia’s Top Satellite Company Drops Liberal Dozhd TV Channel

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s major satellite provider stopped broadcasting Dozhd independent television channel Monday after the network became embroiled into a controversy over an opinion poll about World War II. Tricolor TV, Russia’s biggest satellite TV provider, said a week ago that its board of directors had unanimously decided to exclude the liberal Dozhd channel from all […]

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Russian rights council asks minister to probe providers’ dropping of Dozhd TV

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – February 4, 2014) A number of members of the presidential human rights council have sent a letter to Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev asking him to check the actions of major Russian satellite TV operators that have dropped independent television channel Dozhd from their packages, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 4 February. “We believe that the […]

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Dozhd Television Faces Closure But Strives to Stay Afloat

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 5, 2014) Dozhd, Russia’s only opposition-oriented television channel, on Tuesday announced that the decision of large cable providers to drop it could lead to its closure and attributed the move to a Kremlin-driven campaign to get rid of them. All major cable companies, including OnLime, Akado, NTV Plus and VimpelCom, dropped […]

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Dry the rain: the disgraceful hounding of Dozhd TV

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – January 31, 2014) The scandal surrounding the independent Dozhd TV channel has so far progressed in a predictable and chilling fashion: Media organization does something that many people find to be tactless and/or offensive, said people express their dismay, the media organization apologizes… and then surrealism begins to take over. In case […]

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Legal Online Video Has Inroads in Russia

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eradzh Nidoev – January 29, 2014) While online video streaming in the U.S. has shown that the Internet can be effectively monetized by film and television, the fear of piracy in Russia has limited the spread of such services here. Only now, a few companies are taking the plunge and offering online streaming services, and […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media

File Photo of Little Russian Girl at Laptop Next to Globe

[Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – December 9 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/us-russia-media-idUSBRE9B80I120131209] Reuters covers Russia President Vladimir Putin’s decision to dissolve RIA Novosti and absorb its operations into new entity called Rossiya Segodnya, with a mission of promoting Russia abroad: President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia’s media on Monday by […]

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Senator McCain invited to speak live on Rossiya 1 television

John McCain file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 15, 2013) Russian Journalist Vladimir Solovyov has invited U.S. Republican Senator John McCain to speak live in his evening program on Rossiya 1 television. “On behalf of the radio and television holding VGTRK, I invite Senator John McCain to speak live in the Sunday Evening program,” Solovyov wrote in his Twitter blog. Solovyov said later on […]

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TV determines perspective, if not outcome, of mayoral race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mark Teeter, special to RBTH – Mark H. Teeter teaches English and Russian-American relations in Moscow. He blogs daily for ‘Moscow TV Tonite’ on Facebook – September 11, 2013) Were you surprised by the results of the Moscow mayor election? The answer for Muscovites may depend on what media they consume. The unexpectedly […]

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Current Moscow TV programming

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 Subject: Current Moscow TV programming From: “Mark H. Teeter” in Moscow <markhteeter@gmail.com> FYI: After a nice run with the TV column “TeleMost” for the Moscow News over 2010-11 (archived at http://www.themoscownews.com/col_archive/index_7.html), I began posting daily previews/reviews of selected current Moscow TV programming last year on Facebook, where the response from my modest-sized Friends list has been […]

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Televised Mayoral Debates Go Unnoticed

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 6, 2013) Televised debates between the Moscow mayoral candidates did not stir much interest among audiences, with only half a percent of residents watching the most popular round of debates on Aug. 16. Sociologists attributed weak interest to acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s refusal to participate, Kommersant reported. A total of eleven debates have been […]

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Russian Pundits Say Navalny’s Pull Out From Election Debates Is Non-Fatal Error

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, August 18, 2013) The decision of Moscow mayoral candidate Aleksey Navalnyy to not take part in debates on the Moskva Doveriye TV channel and the Moskva FM radio station can be described as a certain mistake, however he can use the time he saves to maximize contacts with voters on subjects that suit him, political analysts […]

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Navalny Won’t Participate in Future Debates

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 19, 2013) Opposition blogger Alexei Navalny has announced that he will not participate in the next rounds of mayoral debates, both televised and on the radio. The Navalny campaign criticized the decision by television channel Moskva-Doverie to air the debate at 8 a.m., Interfax reported. Last week Navalny, the RPR-Parnas candidate, participated in three […]

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