Image of European countries on Russian TV

Kremlin’s goal is to convince its domestic audience, first and foremost, that democracy as such has failed and that liberal values are toxic and decadent. That freedom is not really a value, because freedom to protest, for example, leads to instability, while stability, in turn, can only be found in Russia through “consistent political leadership” – read, Putin’s regime.

We analyzed in-depth what the Russian leadership had to say about Europe and European countries to the Russian viewers of its top three TV channels. Our content analysis of the Russian narratives of Europe on TV over the span of the past three and a half years provides a unique perspective on the systemic framing techniques and the broader Russian strategy that underpins tactical propaganda and its messaging.

The study reveals that Russian narratives are structured in a way that is meant not to inform, but to challenge the reality of something that has happened. They are not to educate – they are there to distract and interpret, without giving the audience the chance to think for itself.