Through state television: Russia expands influence in Donetsk

As the British Ministry of Defense points out in its daily update on the Platform X, formerly Twitter, announced that residents of the Russian-controlled territory now receive Russian-language local news broadcasts from one of Russia’s largest broadcasters.

The British wrote: “On September 4, the All-Russian State Television and Radio Company (VGTRK) opened a branch in Donetsk and began broadcasting in the internationally unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The Russian television station Rossiya 1TV broadcasts local news that reflects the Russian view of the war. This is part of Russia’s broader effort to gain permanent control of the area. Ukraine-based Russian-language television and radio stations were freely available in the now-annexed territories before 2014. After the invasion, Ukraine-wide providers continued to offer locally sourced Russian-language content.”

Propaganda campaigns are broadcast on Russian-controlled territory

The Ministry of Defense further stated, “The stations controlled by and allied with the DPR government also broadcast national Russian news programs as part of a propaganda campaign, but did not offer regional news. VGTRK’s broadcasting in Donetsk took over a year, after initially being announced for 2022. This was almost certainly due to the refusal of trained local technicians to work. Those sympathetic to the DPR and with the necessary skills have now likely been brought in from Crimea, Luhansk, and elsewhere. Although Ukrainian broadcasting is blocked over the airwaves, it remains accessible to a wide audience via the Internet. Where Russian filtering restrictions are in place, viewers use VPN or other active circumvention technologies. Cell phones connected to Ukrainian providers are most likely to have unimpeded access.

Image:, Vladimir Putin at the site Donguzsky (2015-09-19) 10.jpg, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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