MENU
Documenting war crimes in Ukraine.
The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Similar articles

The Face of Russian terror against Crimean Tatars Mariupol children forced to entertain and ‘thank’ the Russian soldiers who shattered their childhoodUN disbands Russian-blocked ‘fact-finding mission’ into mass killing of Ukrainian POWs at Olenivka prisonChildren to undergo compulsory military training in both Russia and occupied Crimea Imprisoned Crimean artist faces ‘terrorism’ charges for protesting Russia"s war against UkraineRussians threatened to kill abducted Crimean Tatar’s family if he didn’t sign fake ‘confession’ Russia demolishes Mariupol Drama Theatre to try to blame Ukraine for its most heinous war crime Russia sentences young Ukrainian to 12 years on surreal charge of ‘state treason’ Russian MP promises a child from Kyiv missiles as a "New Year present"Russia plans huge propaganda New Year tree in Mariupol while residents freeze in bombed city Russian propaganda media and ex-President guilty of direct incitement to genocide in Ukraine, report findsRussia"s forced deportation of Ukrainian children is genocide with identifiable perpetrators 90% of teachers in occupied Melitopol refuse to collaborate with Russian invaders Russia destroys the centre of Mariupol to conceal its war crimes while leaving residents to die of the coldTwo Ukrainian believers sentenced to six years in Russian-occupied Crimea for a Zoom conversation about the BibleChildren trained to be ‘Putin’s faithful soldiers’ in Russian-occupied Crimea Russia sentences Crimean Solidarity activist to 17 years for defending political prisoners Russian invaders abduct two Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests from Berdiansk and accuse them of ‘terrorism’ Lecturer beaten, ‘tried’ and imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea for a Ukrainian patriotic song Russian torture was particularly savage in Kherson oblast, with even teenagers imprisoned

State TV in Russia as a weapon against the opposition

27.12.2017   

One of the talk show hosts wore a mask to ridicule Ksenia Sobchak. Screenshot from Pervy Kanal.

https://euvsdisinfo.eu/state-tv-in-russia-as-a-weapon-against-the-opposition/

It is not only the Kremlin’s counterparts on the international stage that are targeted by the disinformation campaign. Opposition politicians, human rights defenders and other members of civil society inside Russia are no less frequent victims of discrediting media attacks.

A full hour of ridicule

Last week it was opposition member Ksenia Sobchak who was taken through the mill of ridicule, intimidation and misrepresentation, after she had accepted an invitation to appear on a talk show on Russian state TV and discuss her declared wish to run as candidate in March’s presidential elections in Russia.

During a full hour, Ms Sobchak was yelled at, interrupted and ridiculed with intimidations and sarcasm from the side of two male hosts, who enjoyed the full support of the studio audience’s many rounds of applause. The tactic used against Ms Sobchak was to frame her as someone from show business, i.e. as someone who cannot be taken seriously, although Sobchak is a respected journalist and herself a host at the independent channel TV Rain (Dozhd). The intimidation reached its climax when one of the talk show hosts put on a clown mask to undermine whatever was left of seriousness in the programme; tellingly, this moment came when Ms Sobchak presented her view of Crimea as illegally annexed by Russia.

 “I never thought that you could lie so frankly, so shamelessly”

Sobchak reacted on Instagram to the experience, with an image of the talk show host wearing the clown mask together with the following comment, in which the disinformation that was used against her in the show is described:

“Today I was lucky – I went to hell. You will agree that not everyone is lucky enough to discover if there is a life after life. Now I know for sure – there is. And it is called “Vremya Pokazet” [“Time will show”, the name of the talk show] on [state TV] Pervy Kanal […] This was an important and valuable lesson. Now I know how in a short time the most educated people of Europe can be turned into fooled crowds. How smart, kind and open people have been turned into an angry army of primitives, dreaming of the death of their neighbour, friend, brother […] I never thought that you could lie so frankly, so shamelessly. It’s easy to broadcast live when you use recordings produced by your own editors and present them as if they were phone calls from viewers. When you can shout at the whole country with an insulted facial expression that Ukraine never had any nuclear weapons; that we never had a friendship and cooperation agreement with Ukraine; that the pensions in Russia are not 7,600, but 11,300 rubles. That’s okay. I was – more or less – prepared for that. But that my own words will not just be distorted and taken out of context, but that words that I never have said will be attributed to me!”

 

Kremlin-loyal Russian TV channels are often invited to document police raids and other forms of intimidation attacks targeting civil society organisations. Image: Youtube.

The tradition of discrediting dissenders on Kremlin-loyal TV

That talk shows on Russian state television cultivate intolerance and aggression towards dissenting voices is no news; we have described these functions in two previous publications, “The role of talk shows on pro-Kremlin TV” and “The trait of violence against foreigners on Russian TV“. We have also in our database documented multiple cases when disinformation has been disseminated by state TV Pervy Kanal, and in the “Vremya Pokazhet” show in particular. Similarly, we have earlier documented the special genre, in which Kremlin-loyal TV stations produce discrediting and incriminating attacks on opposition members and civil society representatives, dressed up as investigative documentaries.

The way Ksenia Sobchak was treated last week shows that in the eyes of the Kremlin, state television remains a legitimate weapon against Russia’s opposition.

 Share this