Russia’s state-run media is attempting to portray the nation as “the most peace-loving country” to its citizens as the international community prepares for its potential invasion of Ukraine, The Financial Times reported.
State-backed talk show hosts are painting Ukraine as the aggressor in its conflict with Russia, despite the latter amassing 100,000 troops at the border between the two, Ukrainian broadcasting pundit Vyacheslav Kovtun told the Times.
“They swing together with the party line,” Kovtun said of the talk shows’ traditional pro-Kremlin positioning. Ukraine is portrayed as being backed by a belligerent West and as dangerous to Russia, he told the outlet.
State-backed broadcasts have claimed that Ukraine transported chemicals to its east for chemical weapons and included a list of towns in Russian-backed separatist territories that could be targeted, the Times reported.
Talk shows in Russia are “constantly calling for a strike, to attack, to enter, to defeat, to annex,” Irina Petrovskaya, host of a show analyzing television content on the opposition-minded Echo of Moscow radio station, told the Times. She noted that the media is consumed by “military hysteria.”
Russian media has portrayed Russia as “the most peace-loving country on the planet” and created an atmosphere in which “expectations of war are becoming routine,” Ivan Davydov, a journalist for Russian online outlet Znak, recently wrote, according to the Times. “War becomes possible when people stop seeing it as something out of the ordinary.”
As opposed to in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and downplayed its military and political involvement in east Ukraine, pundits are describing armed conflict “as a possible — though not very desirable — option for solving accumulated problems,” Davydov wrote, the reported.
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