An unbeatable insight into the minds that control Russia
Arvamus 17 Mar 2012  EWR
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Foreigners seeking to explain the paranoia of Kremlin's elite need only look to the country's state-sponsored television.

Edward Lucas, Wi(l)der Europe, European
Russia Today, the state-financed television channel for foreigners, is a must-watch. Not because of journalistic excellence: it has glitzy presentation but huge holes in its coverage and bizarre quirks in its editorial outlook. But it does give an unbeatable insight into the minds of the people who run it – and into the regime that sponsors it.

To be fair, I should note that the channel has substantial strengths. It reports thoroughly on official utterances and it covers most of the headline stories in Russia with reasonable professionalism. In that sense it is quite different from the old Soviet media, which simply ignored topics that did not fit the official line. Russia Today has reported, for example, on the grotesque posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in prison after exposing a $230 million (€175m) fraud against the Russian taxpayer, perpetrated by officials. It also rarely misses a story about UFOs or life on Venus.

But the hallmark of Russia Today is anti-Westernism.

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