World Press Review on Russian media strategy, counter-propaganda and soccer as a tool of politics (March 23, 2015)

 

TIME reports that “Putin’s Confessions on Crimea Expose Kremlin Media”. Referring to a recently-aired movie about Crimea joining Russia, TIME states that “even as the Russian President admits deploying troops in Crimea, his chief propagandists, speaking to TIME, continue to deny it. It was an awkward test for many Russian journalists. Last spring, their President tried to mislead them—and the rest of the world—by denying that he had sent troops to conquer Crimea. But a year later, the President came clean. In a documentary aired last weekend, he admitted ordering his troops to seize Crimea weeks before it was annexed into Russia on March 18, 2014,” the article reports. The author claims that it is the first time that misstatements are so clearly and obviously false and not only contradict the version of events presented in the independent media, but Putin's own statements. Newsweek reports on the initiative by “EU to Launch ‘Mythbusters’ Taskforce to Counter Russian Propaganda”. Speaking about the exact measures taken, “the European Union has launched a campaign this week aimed at tackling the formidable flow of propaganda from Russia, which many European leaders fear is destabilising the continent. Heads of government met in Brussels yesterday to ask Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, to draw up a detailed plan to counter Russia’s “disinformation campaigns” by June”, reports Newsweek. As for the reasons for these actions taking place, “European leaders, particularly in the Baltic States, are increasingly concerned that Russia’s so-called “weaponisation of information” is not only ensuring support for Putin in his own country, but also among ethnic Russians throughout Europe”, the article reads. And although the measures that have been discussed sound promising, “a number of analysts also fear that the EU has woken up to the threat from Russia too late,” the author concludes.Foreign Policy published an article entitled “Soccer Is the Continuation of Putin’s War By Other Means". "Russia and Ukraine don’t much like each other right now — or at least, their governments don’t like each other. And — always sensitive to politics — soccer administrators have taken note: Russian and Ukrainian teams have been deliberately kept apart in both the Champions League and the Europa League, the continent’s top two competitions, after representatives from both countries “expressed concerns about safety and security.” But this fragile balance is difficult to preserve. The author continues, “Soccer and politics are already intertwined in Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has asked his allies to boycott the World Cup in Russia in 2018, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin has leaned on billionaire countrymen to prop up failing clubs saddled with wage bills in foreign currencies. The need for soccer silverware — and the nationalistic boost it might offer — is particularly acute in Ukraine. It hasn’t taken home a trophy since 2009, when Shakhtar Donetsk — a team that can’t even play in its own stadium because of the ongoing conflict — claimed the country’s lone title in a European competition.” 

TIME reports that “Putin’s Confessions on Crimea Expose Kremlin Media”. Referring to a recently-aired movie about Crimea joining Russia, TIME states that “even as the Russian President admits deploying troops in Crimea, his chief propagandists, speaking to TIME, continue to deny it. It was an awkward test for many Russian journalists. Last spring, their President tried to mislead them—and the rest of the world—by denying that he had sent troops to conquer Crimea. But a year later, the President came clean. In a documentary aired last weekend, he admitted ordering his troops to seize Crimea weeks before it was annexed into Russia on March 18, 2014,” the article reports. The author claims that it is the first time that misstatements are so clearly and obviously false and not only contradict the version of events presented in the independent media, but Putin's own statements. 


Newsweek reports on the initiative by “EU to Launch ‘Mythbusters’ Taskforce to Counter Russian Propaganda”. Speaking about the exact measures taken, “the European Union has launched a campaign this week aimed at tackling the formidable flow of propaganda from Russia, which many European leaders fear is destabilising the continent. Heads of government met in Brussels yesterday to ask Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, to draw up a detailed plan to counter Russia’s “disinformation campaigns” by June”, reports Newsweek. As for the reasons for these actions taking place, “European leaders, particularly in the Baltic States, are increasingly concerned that Russia’s so-called “weaponisation of information” is not only ensuring support for Putin in his own country, but also among ethnic Russians throughout Europe”, the article reads. And although the measures that have been discussed sound promising, “a number of analysts also fear that the EU has woken up to the threat from Russia too late,” the author concludes.


Foreign Policy published an article entitled “Soccer Is the Continuation of Putin’s War By Other Means". "Russia and Ukraine don’t much like each other right now — or at least, their governments don’t like each other. And — always sensitive to politics — soccer administrators have taken note: Russian and Ukrainian teams have been deliberately kept apart in both the Champions League and the Europa League, the continent’s top two competitions, after representatives from both countries “expressed concerns about safety and security.” But this fragile balance is difficult to preserve. The author continues, “Soccer and politics are already intertwined in Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has asked his allies to boycott the World Cup in Russia in 2018, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin has leaned on billionaire countrymen to prop up failing clubs saddled with wage bills in foreign currencies. The need for soccer silverware — and the nationalistic boost it might offer — is particularly acute in Ukraine. It hasn’t taken home a trophy since 2009, when Shakhtar Donetsk — a team that can’t even play in its own stadium because of the ongoing conflict — claimed the country’s lone title in a European competition.” 

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