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.
We analyse Russian state media’s framing of the Euromaidan protests using a novel Russian-language electronic content-analysis dictionary and method that we have developed ourselves. We find that around the time of Crimea’s annexation, the Kremlin-controlled media projected media narratives of protests as chaos and disorder, using legalistic jargon about the status of ethnic Russians and federalisation, only to abandon this strategy by the end of April 2014. The shift in media narratives corresponding to the outbreak of violence in the Donbas region gives credence to arguments about Putin’s strategic, interests-driven foreign policy, while adding nuance to those that highlight the role of norms and values.