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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: March 9, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
How Did Russian Television Report on Nemtsov's Murder?
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RFE/RL's Yelena Rykovtseva has posted her impressions of how Russian state-controlled television networks covered the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. For starters, the article mentions that Nemtsov was basically ignored by Russian TV before his death, and in the initial coverage of the incident the Kremlin's networks were busy pointing out that he was a washed-up politician.

Then the narrative changed, first to discredit theories that Nemtsov was killed by either the government or its supporters, and then to disparage the victim:

The praise of Nemtsov as a victim of nefarious Western powers couldn't last for long. After the threat of Western-inspired Maidan receded following the peaceful mourning march, Russian national television quickly switched gears and began to rein in the pathos and darken the memory of the victim. How? Bastard children, multiple wives, dubious lovers, money, resorts, and so on.

NTV produced a singer named Natalya who breathlessly told audiences how Nemtsov took her virginity. Dressed in black leather pants and a leather jacket (mourning clothes, apparently), she told about her various trysts with Nemtsov in cities around the world, including -- predictably -- Washington, D.C. Viewers were on the edge of their seats as Natalya told how she asked Nemtsov to buy her some fancy sneakers so that she could use the spa at one resort.

"Did he buy them?" the curious host asked.

"He did!" Natalya enthused.

The same channel brought in a lawyer who, although he had no obvious connection to Nemtsov at all, detailed the various "trusts" the slain politician left to his four children.

The entire article can be read here.

-- James Miller