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Criticism of Zelensky and developments in Eastern Ukraine as main "Ukrainian" topics in Russian online media - IMI research

06.02.2020, 20:11

Among the news about Ukraine, the Russian mass media cover the most developments related to the President Volodymyr Zelensky. This topic accounts for 36% of total number of stories speaking about Ukraine in Russian mass media. These are the results of the IMI research on coverage of Ukraine in Russian online media *.

The study found that more than half of stories on Zelensky spoke of his statements about Soviet regime responsibility at the beginning of World War II and in the Holocaust. This statement was called by propagandists "the speechwriters fiasco", "hard-core Russophobia". They presented it in the light of idea: "Zelensky is more and more sinking into ideas of Ukrainian nationalism".

The second position by the number of mentions is up to developments in Eastern Ukraine, which Russian mass media covered in 10% of total number of stories about Ukraine. This was mainly the reports about shellfire, disengagement of troops and conflict settling initiatives.

At the third position was the Kravchuk's claim on return of Crimea and Donbass (7%).

In the monitoring period, there were voiced some high-profile events, that Russian mass media covered on its pages. In particular, these are "Honcharuk tapes" (6% of total number of stories on Ukraine) and information on allegedly reported case of a dangerous coronavirus strain, which subsequently turned out to be misinformation (5.5% of total number of stories on Ukraine).

And Russian mass media kept reporting on would-be "Nazi regime" in Ukraine and the decommunization they presented as part of Russophobia trend. 5.5% of total number of stories on Ukraine dealt with that topic.

More of details are available through the link to the article "Russian view of developments in Ukraine ".

Five most popular Russian news sites according to Liveinternet.ru have been analyzed: "RIA Novosti", "Komsomolskaya Pravda", "Gazeta.ru", "Izvestiya" and "Lenta.ru". The sample covered all news about Ukraine, which were published from 24 through 28 January 2020.

This research was made possible thanks to support of the American people through the USAID Media Program in Ukraine, implemented by the international organization Internews Network. The content of this material is under the sole responsibility of the Institute of Mass Information and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or the Internews Network.

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