Evolution of Russian Narratives About Ukraine and Their Export to Ukrainian Media Space (research)


The research of Ukraine Сrisis Media Center, “Evolution of Russian Narratives About Ukraine and Their Export to Ukrainian Media Space”, within the project “Countering disinformation in the south and east of Ukraine” implemented in partnership with Detector Media, Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, and with the support of the European Union.

Content of 5 Russian and 5 Ukrainian channels was analyzed, and based on it, export and adaptation of the Russian narratives for the Ukrainian audience were explored. Here are some key findings of the research:

Tycoonization of Ukrainian media plays a crucial role in the adaptation and export of Russian narratives to Ukraine. This factor often facilitates the situational promotion of Russian disinformation, especially around the critical time of elections, no matter if the tycoon controlling the media is pro-Russian or not.

Narrative on external governance is the most intense and dangerous among all those exported from Russian media, as it facilitates the perception of other Russian disinformation and undermines Ukraine’s relations with its Western partners.

The key peculiarities of pro-Russian channels are:

  • using loyal experts that are portrayed as independent but are in reality promoters of the Kremlin’s messages (and this is the most dangerous one, as they enjoy great confidence among the audience);
  • they serve as a platform for pro-Russian politicians as regular guests;
  • biased behavior of the channels’ hosts.

Detector Media study “On the other side of the screen: An analysis of media consumption and disinformation in the Ukraine’s information environment” is here