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Media and the Ukraine Crisis

Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict


Edited By Mervi Pantti

How are media and communications transforming armed conflicts? How are conflicts made visible in the media in different national and transnational settings? How does the media serve as a means by which
various actors manage and communicate conflict?

These are some of the questions addressed in this book. Using a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches, contributors discuss the complex, multi-level Ukraine conflict as it is imagined and enacted in and through various media. Covering a wide range of media forms and content, including television news, newspapers, PR campaigns, and social media content, they offer new, empirically grounded insight into the ways in which traditional mass media and new media forms are involved in narrating and shaping conflict.

This book is suitable for students of conflict and media courses in journalism, media and communication, politics, security, and Russian and Eastern European studies.

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Chapter Six: Mediatised Warfare in Russia: Framing the Annexation of Crimea


Mediatised Warfare IN Russia

Framing the Annexation of Crimea


The day has come, where we recognise that the word, the camera, the photograph, the internet and information in general have become a type of weapon, an expression of the Armed Forces. This weapon may be used positively as well as negatively. It is a weapon which has been part of events in our country in different years and in different ways, in defeats as well as in victories. (“Slovo tozhe strelyaet,” 2015)

“Words also shoot,” so noted Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the newspaper of the Russian government, quoting Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu saying the words as introduced in the epigraph above. The occasion was Media-AS 2015, the first staging of what will be an annual event organised by the Russian Ministry of Defence to celebrate those media professionals who make “a significant contribution to the strengthening of the positive image of the Armed Forces” (Russian Ministry of Defence, n.d.). Shoigu’s message was one of heightened awareness of the importance of the media in military affairs.

At the time of Shoigu’s speech, Russian troops had successfully conducted the military operations necessary for the 21 March 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea by Russia, including its main city, Sevastopol, and were alleged to be fighting secretly in Eastern Ukraine, supporting separatists in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.1 As demonstrated by the Crimean case study that follows, the...

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