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Media and the Ukraine Crisis

Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict


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 Seven: Global Online News from a Russian Viewpoint: RT and the Conflict in Ukraine


Global Online News FROM A Russian Viewpoint

RT and the Conflict in Ukraine


In a globally televised speech on 18 March 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin marked a dramatic change in Russia’s foreign policy orientation toward Ukraine. On the discursive basis of historical and cultural roots, truth and justice, he claimed that Crimea should come back to where it truly belongs, namely as an “inseparable part of Russia.” Putin’s contention, which was put into practice by the annexation of Crimea, was met with the strongest condemnations from a long line of international political leaders. This was also the perspective conveyed in most global news services operating across Europe and the globe. The BBC’s Bridget Kendall, for instance, examined the speech in detail and commented critically on almost all parts of Putin’s arguments. She specifically highlighted that Putin never mentioned the pro-Moscow armed group which took over the Crimean parliament building in February the same year (“Crimea crisis,” 2014). Simultaneously, the French international television news service France 24 reacted to the speech by quoting US Vice President Joe Biden, who had called Russia’s operation “a land grab,” warning that Russia “will face additional measures from both the EU and the US if it goes ahead with its plan” (“Crimea an ‘inseparable’ part of Russia,” 2014). Journalist and human rights activist Halya Coynash wrote in an opinion piece on Al Jazeera two days later that Putin’s plan ought to be seen as a form...

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