New research paper on Sputnik News to be presented at ECPR Hamburg

A research paper by Watanabe on Sputnik News, Conspiracist propaganda: How Russia promotes anti-establishment sentiment online?, will be presented in the Political Communication in a Post-Truth Era panel at ECPR General Conference in Hamburg.

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Release of Lankina Russian Protest Event Dataset

The Lankina Russian Protest Event Dataset has been now released.  The dataset, codebook and accompanying information sheet can be downloaded from my LSE website.

Data for the Russian protest dataset were collected from namarsh.ru (Новости протеста section in left-hand sidebar), a website run by Russian opposition activists and dedicated to harvesting and dissemination of information on protests occurring throughout Russia. I began collecting and inputting the data in 2007, shortly after the website namarsh.ru had been set up. I expanded the range of variables over the years, particularly after the 2011-2012 protests wave, which highlighted the value of having nuanced baseline protest data to analyze protest dynamics in Russia overtime and to be able to pursue comparative analysis of protest in a variety of national and sub-national contexts. The namarsh.ru website aggregates dispatches from a network of regional correspondents and from press and online reports. The dataset only records what the researchers deemed genuine protest events, meaning that events organized by the ruling United Russia party or pro-government youth movements, such as Nashi were not included. For most variables, the data cover the years 2007-2016. Data for some variables are only available beginning in 2009 or later. However, researchers using the dataset would be able to refer to the web-links to protest stories to extract data for the other years, as required for a specific research project. Although the dataset records all protests listed on the namarsh.ru website, and this remains one of the most, if not the most comprehensive sources of over-time data on regional protests, this is not a comprehensive source of protest activism in Russia. Some protests are over-reported and others are under-reported on the namarsh.ru website. These caveats are discussed in the various publications in which the data were used. In employing these data, users may wish to refer to the publications listed below that discuss the merits and limitations of the data. These publications also illustrate the utility of the dataset when analyzing various aspects of the political process in Russia and other autocracies, for instance, media manipulation of information on protest; or the links between electoral fraud and protest activism. Over the years, several researchers have contributed to the creation of the dataset. Aleksey Savrasov and Alisa Voznaya worked on the project during the early stages of data gathering. Dr Katerina Tertytchnaya’s work on the dataset has been particularly invaluable over the last few years; she has taken the “driver’s seat” in many ways concerning the coding and design aspects of the data.

LSS model for protest framing analysis is available now

Our framing analysis tool is now publicly available in the LSS package. We performed analysis of Russian media’s framing of street protests using a system developed in Python, but subsequently transferred the ‘trained’ model into R to make it more accessible. We labelled it ‘dictionary’ earlier, but refer to it now as a fitted Latent Semantic Scaling model. Applying the model to news stories one can easily produce plots that are very similar to those in our papers. The values of the score are high when a news article contains framing of street protests as “freedom to protest” and when the score is low, protests are framed as “social disorder.”

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Recent podcast on Russia’s 2018 presidential elections, political opposition and protests

LSE IGA organised a public panel on “Politics and Political Opposition in Russia,” with participation by Vladimir Kara-Murza, Professor Richard Sakwa, Professor Tomila Lankina and Vladimir Ashurkov, chaired by LSE IGA Visiting Fellow, Oksana Antonenko. It was followed by the screening of Vladimir Kara-Murza’s documentary film, “Nemtsov.”

Listen to podcast here.

New research paper on Russian media’s coverage of protests in Ukraine

A research paper by Lankina and Watanabe on the Russian media’s coverage of protests in Ukraine, ‘Russian Spring’ or ‘Spring Betrayal’? The Media as a Mirror of Putin’s Evolving Strategy in Ukraine, has been published in Europe-Asia Studies. A limited number of free copies are available.

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Recent presentations and podcasts on Russia’s media strategies

Podcast on Russia’s 2018 presidential elections, political opposition and protest, 30 November 2017.

LSE IGA organised a public panel on “Politics and Political Opposition in Russia,” with participation by Vladimir Kara-Murza, Professor Richard Sakwa, Professor Tomila Lankina and Vladimir Ashurkov, chaired by LSE IGA Visiting Fellow, Oksana Antonenko. It was followed by the screening of Vladimir Kara-Murza’s documentary film, “Nemtsov.”

Listen to podcast here.

Talk at the Frontline Club on Russia’s Role in the Global ‘Information War’, 12 October 2017

Voice of America interview on Russian media (in Russian).

Presentation on Russia’s media strategies at a PONARS Eurasia conference in Washington, DC on Rethinking Russian Media Strategy and Influence.

For a podcast of a previous PONARS Eurasia event in which T. Lankina and other Russia experts discuss media manipulation in the context of Russia’s elections and popular mobilization click here.