View Full Version : Putin kills RIA Novosti, installs Soviet style media

Dr Mordrid
9th December 2013, 15:55
Back to the future?


MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia's media on Monday by dissolving the main state news agency and replacing it with an organization that is to promote Moscow's image abroad.

The move to abolish RIA Novosti and create a news agency to be known as Rossiya Segodnya is the second in two weeks strengthening Putin's hold on the media as he tries to reassert his authority after protests against his rule.

Most Russian media outlets are already loyal to Putin, and opponents get little air time, but the shake-up underlined their importance to Putin keeping power and the Kremlin's concern about the president's ratings and image.

The head of the new agency, to be built from the ashes of RIA Novosti, is a conservative news anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov, who once caused outrage by saying the organs of homosexuals should not be used in transplants.

"The main focus of ... Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) is to highlight abroad the state policy and public life of the Russian Federation," said a decree signed by Putin.

Sergei Ivanov, the head of the presidential administration, told reporters that the changes were intended to save money and improve the state media.

But the new organization has strong similarities to APN, a Soviet-era news agency whose role included writing articles about "the social-economic and cultural life of the Soviet people and items reflecting Soviet society's point of view on important internal and international events".

RIA said in an English-language article about Putin's step: "The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia's news landscape which appear to point towards a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector."

10th December 2013, 13:45
I think this will backfire long term for Russia. I don't see World as black and white and I understand that some of the opposition to Putin is under western umbrella.

For example I watched some Russian talk show where they had two groups debating one pro west and another pro independent Russia. The way the 2nd see the West is: In 1989 Gorbachov pulled out of eastern Europe and let Soviet union dissolve. The West has promised not to claim these lands and not integrate former Soviet Union in NATO. The big part of their fears are missile bases.

This video from that talk show shows in nice animation how they fear USA might attack Russia. (was displayed by anti-west group in that debate talk show)

translation from Russian:

On map the marked areas are the ones Russians believe would be hit in Nuclear war.

1) in positions around Russia come Aegis antimissile cruisers.
2) Aircraft approach borders of Russia and strike with cruise missiles radars and early warning systems.
3) Submarines carry out strikes with Trident 2 nuclear ballistic missiles destroying missile sites, nuclear sites, airports and other strategic sites.

A radioactive zone is shown in case of theoretical strike on Kozelsk - strategic forces site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kozelsk)

Expected casualties among population 8-12 million. We must not let 8-12 million die, we should be stronger and stronger.

End of Translation

The way they see things there is: We played nice, pulled out, didn't start a war, while USA is is gobbling Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Middle east and doesn't respect what was agreed on with Gorbachev and that "Anglosaxons cannot be trusted".

On the other hand I think that with their somewhat exaggerated fear of west they are silencing criticism and with such society you can't really come to OECD standard of living, GDP... which Russia is closing to. While Putin is smart and competent and is running things in Russia better probably than anyone since Car Nikolai II (Russians in recent polls voted they liked Brezhnev most - era of relative prosperity, then Lenin and Stalin and disliked Gorbachev and Yelcin the most), I don't think the system he is putting in place will work well after he is gone.

The thing with Putin is that in late 1990s Russia was in major crysis, they defaulted loans, Yelcin was changing prime ministers almost on monthly basis. Powerful oligarchs sprung up by gobbling power in regions, cities and big state companies and various clans wrestled for power. The reason they installed Putin as prime minister was because then he seemed modest, reserved and orderly and he was planned as a stopgap leader. It took him until about 2010 to get and assimilate oligarch factions and though he seems firmly in power now, many oligarchs and many in the West want to see him go. Another reason for hiss popularity is that Russian economy DOUBLED during his tenure while under Yelcin they had decade of decline and stagnation. Russia is starting to overtake some Eastern European countries in GDP per capita.

So I think while he was OK to stabilize country after 1990s turmoil, the system he is putting in place will be counter-productive to stage of development where Russia is coming now, where you need more openness, different ideas and freedom. Perhaps one guy after Putin will coast on this, though he won't be able to fill his shoes, but after that Russia will either have to become more open or stagnate.

15th December 2013, 06:44

This video captivates Russian scene :)

16th December 2013, 13:38

European countries bordering Russia's territory of Kaliningrad say they are worried at reports that Moscow has put nuclear-capable missiles there.

Medvedyev during his presidency said he will put Iskander in Kaliningrad if NATO will go on with missile defence.