31.03.2016. Does the Russian propaganda put the separatist leaders out of the information field? MediaSapiens

Review of the Russian television for February 2016:

After the January information silence, the Russian TV channels began to actively replicate reports of fighting in the Donbas. The main leitmotiv of the stories was the violation by Ukraine of the truce and Minsk agreements.It is curious that the news from Donbas mentioned separatist leaders more rarely; reports were submitted with reference to anonymous, unverifiable sources (‘DPR intelligence’, ‘locals’) or staff ‘talking heads’ of the separatists (Basurin, Pushilin, Deynego).

At the same time, the separatists’ news rather repeat and duplicate the information, voiced by Russian diplomats. For example, on February 4, the Russia channel quoted the Russian Ambassador to the OSCE Aleksandr Lukashevich saying “the activities of the Ukrainian military speak for the readiness to the force scenario in the Donbas.” The next day, on February 5, the same Russia channel broadcasted about “the DPR Army conducting exercises near Donetsk Thorez, the most extensive ones since the establishment of the self-proclaimed republic”. Only on February 12, TV-Center quoted ‘head of the self-proclaimed DPR’ Aleksandr Zakharchenko saying that “there are 90 thousand Ukrainian soldiers and 500 tanks on the contact line, which indicates that Kiev is ready to start a full-scale military operation”. The same thesis, but with reference to the anonymous ‘ministry of defense of the DPR’, was repeated on Russia channel on February 21.

Monitoring is made by NGO Telekritika with support of Internews Network.

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