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How the News is Reported in Russia
October 2010
by Andrei Nesterov

The two largest state-run television stations in Russia are First Channel and Russia Channel. Most Russians get their news from one of these two stations. SRAS's Andrei Nesterov compiled the following synopsis of how major events were covered by news reports on these two stations. This news review is part of SRAS's monthly "obzor" publications. For more reviews, see the newsletter for this corresponding month. If you would like to request that a story be covered here, inform our editor.

We are now providing weblinks to the related stories from the Russian broadcasters when available online! If no link is available, the material was covered in broadcasts, but not posted (or at least not found by us) online.

To receive the free monthly newsletter and obzori by email, simply sign up.

October, Week 4

Russian Government to Support Flood Victims in Krasnodar

National television channels reported that the state will give "substantial aid" to over 5,000 flood victims in the Krasnodar region.

First Channel quoted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who had visited the flood-affected area as saying that “personal accounts are to be opened for each victim, and today money will be transferred from Moscow, 100,000 rubles per family member, plus 50,000 more from the regional budget.”

The prime minister also stated that 304 buildings would be constructed to replace those destroyed by the flood, and 125 thousand rubles will be spent by the state to repair residences that have been damaged. 

Russia Channel covered the flood in more detail, reporting additionally that sixteen people had been killed (and one million rubles will be paid to the families of each of them), seven people are missing and that a total of two billion rubles of damage was done to property in the region. The flood was so powerful that some vehicles were thrown into trees.

As for the possible causes of the flood, Russia Channel stated that it could be caused by numerous tornadoes which brought down many tons of water from the foothills. In order to prevent such damages, special early warning meteorological stations are to be set up in Krasnodar region.

First Channel stated that United Russia party was the "absolute winner" of the elections, as it had overtaken its competitors "everywhere," gaining 57.5% of votes on average. According to First Channel, after the elections, United Russia held a celebration under the slogan "Pure Victory." First Channel also broadcast Russian President Dmitry Medvedev saying that any violations should be thoroughly investigated, with court proceedings when required by law.

Also of Interest
First Channel

New Moscow Mayor Inaugurated
Medvedev Meets French and German Leaders
Week of Strikes in France
Mobile Phone Tariffs to Go Down
Expired Food in Russian Stores
WikiLeaks Publishes Iraq Docs
Bribe Scandal in FIFA

Russia Channel

New Moscow Mayor Inaugurated
Putin Names New Chief of Staff
Corruption in Under Luzhkov
Roaming Charges to Fall
Russia-EU Visa-free Regime in 15 Years
Street Protests in France Raise
Terrorist Attack on Chechen Parliament
Pedophiles Banned from Working with Kids


October, Week 3

United Russia Sweeps Regional Elections

The national TV channels reported on an absolute victory of United Russia in the October 11 elections for regional parliaments.

Russia Channel quoted leader of United Russia Boris Gryzlov as saying that compared with the previous year, the party gained on average seven percent more votes, improving its election results in every region. According to Russia Channel, United Russia won an absolute majority in three out of six regions where the elections were held, with the record outcome of 77% of votes in Tuva. Only in the Novosibirsk Region did United Russia gain less than half of the votes in its support: 44.8%.

Russia Channel reported that the Communist party came in second in three regions, with its best showing being in the Novosibirsk region (25%), while the political parties LDPR and Fair Russia held third and fourth positions.  Meanwhile, Russia Channel quoted opposition party leaders complaining about the unfair elections, such as Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov talking about "dirty techniques" and co-chairman of Right Cause Leonid Gozman saying that the election had "hard conditions," without elaboration. 

First Channel stated that United Russia party was the "absolute winner" of the elections, as it had overtaken its competitors "everywhere," gaining 57.5% of votes on average. According to First Channel, after the elections, United Russia held a celebration under the slogan "Pure Victory." First Channel also broadcast Russian President Dmitry Medvedev saying that any violations should be thoroughly investigated, with court proceedings when required by law.


Also of Interest
First Channel

Sobyanin Appointed Mayor of Moscow
Luzhkov Lobbied for Wife's Company
Medvedev Pushes Skolkovo
Putins Inspects Olympic Construction
Census in Russia
65 years of North Korea Ruling Party
Record Frosts Expected This Winter

Russia Channel

Sobyanin Appointed Mayor of Moscow
Census in Russia
Formula-1 to Come to Sochi
Arctic More Attractive for Development
Medvedev Pushes Skolkovo
Miners Rescued in Chili
Rehab NGO Head Arrested
Kremlin Stars to be Removed?
Flood in Krasnodar Region
Orthodox Church to Open YouTube Channel
Hugo Chaves Visits Russia
Russia Expands Currency Corridor

October, Week 2

Russia's Opinion of Kyrgyz Elections

In the reports about the elections in the Kyrgyz Parliament which took place on October 10, Russian TV channels expressed skeptical about Kyrgyzstan's political future.

First Channel stated that although "the elections were recognized as valid, it is still too early for the residents of Kyrgyzstan to take a breath" as summarizing the elections results may turn into "stumbling block." According to First Channel, there is a possibility of street disturbances in Kyrgyzstan as the opposition might contest the election results and take its supporters out on the streets.

Russia Channel quoted the Head of the Russian Duma’s delegation at the Kyrgyz elections Aleksei Ostrovsky as saying that “it is hardly possible to say that the elections in the republic took place in honest, clean and transparent manner, there are violations registered, and the heads of the Kyrgyz election committee will be notified about them."

On the following day, October 11, First Channel broadcast a very short report that no party had won a majority of the seats. According to First Channel, five out 29 running parties will have the representation in the Kyrgyz legislature, including both the opposition parties and the parties supported by the authorities. A coalition will now have to be formed with parliament in order to have a majority.

Also of Interest
First Channel

Four Candidates for Moscow Mayor Problems for New Moscow Mayor
Russia Criticizes Belarus President
Putin on University Reform 
Russians Win Nobel in Britain
Russia Buys Mistral Warship
Elections in Five Russian Regions

Russia Channel

Who Will be New Mayor of Moscow?
Luzhkov Corruption
Luzhkov Supported Ugly Tsereteli Sculptures Medvedev Denounces Lukashenko
Sick Leave Fraud in Russia
British Special Services Detain Terrorists 

October, Week 1

Dismissal of Moscow Mayor

More than half the air time for First Channel's and Russia Channel's Sunday news programs was given over to the dismissal of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, with sarcastic comments abounding.

First Channel stated that one of the reason for Luzhkov's dismissal is that he had "lost touch with reality" since "politics is the art of feasible, constant and strong sense of reality, and this sense vanished in the head of Moscow in recent years. Life, as always, moved forward intangibly, and the rigid feudal style which Luzhkov used for pulling Moscow out from the ruins of the 90s, having made it a world capital, and this style isolated the mayor from ordinary Muscovites more and more."

There were some positive comments about the former mayor of Moscow, in the broadcast statement by Vladimir Putin who said that Yuri Luzhkov is a "significant figure" in contemporary Russia and "did a lot" to develop Moscow, "but it's utterly obvious the Moscow mayor's relationship with the president didn't work out."

Another positive opinion of Luzhkov was given by former first deputy head of the Moscow City Council Sergey Stankevich who said that Luzkov never betrayed those who had appointed him, during the political turmoil of the 90s, but afterwards, the Moscow mayor allowed his associates to enrich themselves immensely, by constructing new buildings and selling them at exorbitant prices. 

Russia Channel stated that, according to the calculations, Yuri Luzhkov had held his office two months longer than Leonid Brezhnev. Russia Channel also reported that "in addition to the (Moscow's) snowballing problems, Luzhkov created ideological splits," citing Victory Day celebrations in 2010 where the Moscow mayor wanted to display portraits of Joseph Stalin.

Russia Channel expressed regret that Yuri Luzhkov had "changed as a person" throughout his years in the office, quoting Russian Federation Council Speaker and head of Just Russia party Sergey Mironov as saying that "the oligarch has prevailed (in Luzhkov) over the strong business manager and person…To be correct, his wife-oligarch prevailed over the strong business manager and genuine patriot."  LDPR Party Leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky was even more outspoken, saying in a Russia Channel interview that "for Cherkizovsky market alone (meaning large-scale corruption there) Luzhkov should have been driven out immediately and shamed, but, instead, he visited the market's owner in Turkey to open there the most expensive hotel in the world (which the market owner had built for) 1.5 billion dollars."

Russia Channel stated that "the role of the defender of the interests of the Muscovites was no longer relevant to Luzhkov" in recent years, citing the incidents in the Rechniki and Yuzhnoe Butovo neighborhoods where the city authorities bulldozed homes and paid no compensation for the destroyed property.

Also, Russia Channel dedicated a special report to the architecture of "Luzhkov-era" buildings, calling this architecture style "Luzhkov Empire style" and stating that the newly constructed buildings and erected monuments by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli are "Luzhkov's most dismal legacy," which demonstrate a lack of artistic taste in the former Moscow mayor.

Also of Interest
First Channel

Russia to Build Pipeline to China
Gov't Protects Forests, Timber Industry  Russia Lacks Enough Kindergartens
Eve of Elections in Five Regions
20 years of Uniting Germany

Russia Channel

Bomb Found Near Cafe in Stavropol
Medvedev and Putin Have Breakfast
Outgoing Politian Retains Chess Leadership Medvedev Visits China
Medvedev Visits Kamchatka


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