Belsat TV conference: How to сope with Russian propaganda in former USSR?

The European Union has come up with idea of establishing a European Russian-language television. The project may become a response to the Kremlin’s propaganda avalanche which targets the Russian-language citizens of the former USSR every day. Being eager to have its say in the discussion started by Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, Belsat TV has organised a press conference on May 15, 2014.

When the conference started all the participants stood a chance of watching a short film which convincingly demonstrates Russia’s vicious propagandist methods.

{movie}Kremlin’s propaganda – fraud and aggression.|right|16474{/movie}

In its report Russia’s television channel NTV showed a man and stated he was a citizen of Germany and a ‘Euromaidan’s mercenary’. According to the journalists, this man, Andrey Petkov, who left Ukraine in 1992, was wounded in the town of Mykolaiv. The resident of Germany had 500,000 euro for Euromaidan and was resposible for training the group of 50 so that they could participate in actions of violence, NTV said. Meanwhile, TV channel Rossiya reported the story of the same man, Andrey Petkov, but presented him as … ‘a victim of radicals’ who had brain concussion, burns and a fracture. On April 7, Mr Petkov was taking part in a peaceful action in Mykolaiv expressing his protest against the new authorities, but radicals ‘touched off a real massacre’, Rossiya stressed.

In addition to providing political indoctrination in Russia, the Kremlin’s propaganda influences the formation of public opinion in Belarus, eastern Ukraine, the Baltic countries, as it is clearly seen from the expressions used by Russian-language residents. For example, the words ‘Banderovite’* and ‘fascist’ have become synonyms of ‘Ukrainian’ for them.

The recent developments in Crimea and eastern Ukraine are not only the show of military power and subversive activities. Announcing his intention to ‘protect Russian-language people’ President Putin mentioned a target group of his policy. For many years, along with the build of military forces, Russia has been carrying out an intensive media attack on the Russian-language citizens of the former USSR mainly via state-run e-media, Belsat TV Director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy stressed.

It is the devoted people who are found and run such project, but it should not be of propagandist nature, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy said. In her opinion, the European Union should allocate at least €18 mln to the project.

Aliaksei Dzikavitski, Belsat TV’s Information Programming Director, emphasized that the channel which is practically illegal in Belarus provides six-hour news content in spite of persecution and hostile conditions.

Finally, a film showing Belsat’s standing up against Russian propaganda was presented to the participants of the conference.

{movie}Belsat TV: Sticking up for the facts.|right|16475{/movie}

*Stepan Bandera was one of the leaders of the Ukrainian nationalist movement.

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