Top Russian state TV propagandists pick up this year’s Russian “Emmy Awards”

disinformation awards

 

Information security, Russia

Every year, Russian television celebrates itself and its celebrities at a ceremony where awards are presented to the industry’s most acknowledged professionals. Just like the Emmy Awards in the US, the Russian show, known as the TEFI Awards, is broadly publicised in the media. This year on October 3, prizes were presented to hosts and shows which turned out have one particular feature in common: Impressive track records in spreading disinformation.

The Russian independent outlet The Insider was the first to present highlights from the TEFI winners’ back catalog of fake news stories. Here we share some of The Insider’s examples and add highlights from our own reporting, including results from searches made in our own new publicly available database of almost 3,500 examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation.

EU-sanctioned Dmitry Kiselev hosts the Vesti Nedeli analytical programme on Rossiya-1. Image: Youtube

EU-sanctioned Dmitry Kiselev hosts the Vesti Nedeli analytical programme on Rossiya-1. Image: Youtube

“Vesti Nedeli“, this year’s TEFI winner in the category “Best analytical program”, is broadcast by the state-owned Rossiya-1 and hosted by EU-sanctioned Dmitry Kiselev. The winning story was a fragment from a documentary, which investigates opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s alleged ties to foreign enemies of Russia. However, documents presented in the programme turned out to be completely forged by Rossiya-1; they included embarrassing linguistic mistakes in English language documents – for example referring to what should have been “developed countries” as “developing countries.”

Click here for other examples of disinformation appearing in the Vesti Nedeli show and which have been reported to the Disinformation Review database. The list includes e.g. the claim that Poland was the initiator of WWII; that the West is preparing the script for an invented “chemical attack by Assad” in Syria; and that Ukraine’s visa-free regime with the EU aims at converting Ukrainians into slaves.
Pervy Kanal’s correspondent reporting the “Lisa” disinformation story from Germany. Image: Youtube

Pervy Kanal’s correspondent reporting the “Lisa” disinformation story from Germany. Image: Youtube

“Vremya” on state-controlled Pervy Kanal won in the category “Best news programme”. It was the Vremya programme whose correspondent in Berlin brought details of the infamous disinformation story about “Lisa” to Russian homes with this report.

Click here for other examples of disinformation appearing on Pervy Kanal and which have been reported to the Disinformation Review database. The list includes e.g. the claim that Daesh fighters are in fact American mercenaries and Daesh was created by the US; that Kyiv has developed a plan for genocide of the population of Donbas; and that Ukraine is, in fact, a part of Russia.
“Europe is the kingdom of gays“, is the title of a broadcast with REN TV host Igor Prokopenko. Image: Youtube.

“Europe is the kingdom of gays“, is the title of a broadcast with REN TV host Igor Prokopenko. Image: Youtube.

REN TV, a third Russian nation-wide television broadcaster, was probably proud that one of its hosts, Igor Prokopenko, won the award for “Best educational program” for a show called “Voennaya Tayna” (“Military Secret”). However, Mr. Prokopenko is also the man behind a number of other REN TV broadcasts, such as this one where it is argued that the world is flat, and another documentary called “Europe is the kingdom of gays.“

Click here for other examples of disinformation appearing on REN TV  and which have been reported to the Disinformation Review database. The list includes e.g. the claim that pedophilia is common among US politicians; that gay politicians are being installed in Europe, who break children’s psyche and force them to change sex; and that the 9/11 terror attacks in the US were in fact organized by US intelligence agencies.
Vladimir Solovyov hosts one of Russia’s most watched disinformation-oriented talk shows, Voskresnyi Vecher (“Sunday Night”) on Rossiya-1. Image: Youtube

Vladimir Solovyov hosts one of Russia’s most watched disinformation-oriented talk shows, Voskresnyi Vecher (“Sunday Night”) on Rossiya-1. Image: Youtube

Finally, Vladimir Solovyov of Rossiya-1 was awarded the prize for this year’s best interviewer. Solovyov, who has recently found his alleged villa in Italy under the scrutiny of the Russian corruption hunter Alexey Navalny, hosts one of the most watched talk shows on Russian television. As we have described in a feature article about talk shows such as Mr Solovyov’s on Russian television, their aim is both to legitimise mobbing and marginalization of dissidents, and to spread disinformation.

Click here for examples of disinformation appearing on Mr.Solovyov’s show and which have been reported to the Disinformation Review database. The list includes e.g. the claim that the UN Security Council has stated that Russia has not waged any aggression against Ukraine; that Russia is the only country in the world that fights terrorism; and that Crimea simply decided its own fate when it was annexed by Russia.

Read more:

 

Source: EU vs Disinfo

Tags: , ,

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    These Russian propagandists could just as well find their awards in a box of popcorn. They are both meaningless and laughable.

    • Oknemfrod

      I wouldn’t even call these frightful baboons “propagandists”, the latter presuming the existence of a more or less complete ideological platform behind the propaganda. They are just aether polluters paid to throw dung at ventilators (at times – almost literally) aimed to dehumanize and demoralize the information space. Sort of like the trolls from the Russian troll factories, only much more visible (which is a good thing, as after the inevitable collapse of the regime they’re serving they will end up much more targetable as well).

      • LES1

        They must feed Putin’s “TV Tribe Cult”.

  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSian media is all Kremlin propaganda.

  • veth

    Media: Russian ‘Troll Factory’ organized 40 rallies in US

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8:00:58 AM

    Through the Saint Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, also known as the “Troll Factory”, nearly 40 rallies and protest actions were organized in the US between 2016 and 2017, reports RBC news agency with reference to statistics reports in its possession.

    In recent years, nearly a dozen events have been held under the auspices of the BlackMattersUS movement (the name alludes to the Black Lives Matter movement which advocated the rights of black people, but has nothing to do with it), said an RBC correspondent familiar with the “factory’s” activity. One of the factory members, a former worker in the “American department”, said that the participants in the protests were unaware that the protests had been organized by “trolls”. Information on some of the protests has featured previously in the research of the English-language media. In August last year, the Being Patriotic movement used Facebook to invite residents of 17 cities in Florida to rally in support of US President Donald Trump, The Daily Beast reported.

    The factory has been spending roughly 200 000 rubles (about $3 500) every month to pay for the work of local rally organizers, flights, as well as printing and equipment expenses. The agency may have spent as much as five million rubles in the last two years.

    The agency has also spent about 260 000 rubles ($4535 USD) each month on promotions in social networks. Nearly half of the budget has been used to make posts about racial problems, a smaller portion being used on political messages. Between June 2015 and May 2017, the factory spent at least $100 000 to promote about 3 300 political advertisements directed at American voters.

    RBC’s sources claim that the American department is headed by Dzheikhun Aslanov, a 27 year-old native of Azerbaijan. Aslanov himself denies this. However, RBC has Telegram messages in Aslanov’s name which speak about the interim results of the Troll Factory’s work in the US. Aslanov went to St. Petersburg from the Irkutsk province at the end of the 2000s in order to study at the economics faculty of the Hydrometeorological University. In 2009 he visited the US, and in 2011 he spent time in London. According to RBC, Aslanov currently owns two companies which specialize in advertising and work on the internet. One of them, Azimut, promotes accounts on social networks, Aslanov himself specified.

    The agency has more than five legal entities, a source close to the factory’s leadership explained.

    In September, Facebook announced that users affiliated with Russia had purchased 3 000 political advertisements in the US between 2015 and 2016. According to the social network, nearly 10 million people in the US saw the adverts. The social network has given the US Congress the text of these adverts. Their exact content remains unknown, but Facebook has clarified that most of them concerned controversial social and political topics, including LGBT rights, racial matters and the right to weapons.

    The social network subsequently announced that it would hire a thousand staff members to check political adverts.
    Twitter later blocked 200 accounts related to Russian interference in US elections.