ISSN 2330-717X

Russia And Its Present Disappearing From Moscow Television – OpEd

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Moscow television over the last five years has devoted far more attention to developments in Ukraine than to developments in Russia, an obvious, much commented upon, and partially successful attempt to distract the attention of Russians from the problems in their own country, observer Yury Komarov says (publizist.ru/blogs/34/30433/-).

But now that trend has been joined by another: Moscow television increasingly focuses not on Russia today when it does talk about the country but about its past and especially what is the keystone and ultimate moral solvent against any criticism of Moscow and its policies, the Soviet victory in World War II.

Russia’s First Channel has announced the beginning of a new television channel, “Victory,” devoted exclusively to what Russians call the Great Fatherland War, World War II, and intended to help “preserve consensus in society,” according to its leadership (znak.com/2019-04-09/v_rossii_poyavilsya_telekanal_pobeda_posvyachennyy_voyne).

The new channel will be directed primarily to the young and be available throughout Russia “except Chukotka, Kamchatka, Magadan oblast, part of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Krasnoyarsk Kray and Novaya Zemlya” (on these exclusions, see the comment at region.expert/tv-pobeda/).

It will also cover “almost all the republics of the former USSR, Mongolia, North Korea, part of China, Poland, Finland and all of Scandinavia. According to its organizers, it isn’t receiving any special government funding, but since First Channel does, the money can be passed through there.

Aleksey Volin, the deputy communications minister who appears to be overseeing this effort, says that the new channel “must not be devoted only to the Great Fatherland War and other wars because there are Russian “victories, also in space, art, science and technology” which deserve coverage as well.

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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