Lithuania’s Images in Russian Mass Media after the Annexation of Crimea
Volume 15, Issue 1 (2017), pp. 101–118
Pub. online: 9 December 2017 Type: Article Open Access
9 December 2017
9 December 2017
One of the distinctive features of Russia’s confrontation with the West over the 2014–2016 period is the intensification of Russian propaganda both in foreign countries and within the state. Lithuania, whose relations with a major neighbour were not normalized, and which openly supported Ukraine’s position, attracted the additional attention of Russian mass media in which an incitement to anti-Lithuanian moods was bolstered. In this case, it is endeavoured to generally describe how the mass media (television and newspapers) played a role in contriving a social construct and ascertain the Lithuanian quantitative characteristics which are presented in Russian mass media. Referring to the analysis, one can distinguish three prevailing negative images of Lithuania – that is, Russophobic and anti-Russian; a falsifier of history; and a failing and non-influential state. These images, being consistently and purposefully exploited in Russian information space, almost with no alternative sources, turned into undeniable truth for the majority of Russian citizens. This provides the Kremlin with vast possibilities of manipulation in constructing the tactics and strategy of geopolitical instability. On the other hand, one should not forget that such a negative picture of Lithuania serves as a way in which Russian society justifies Putin’s political system and demonstrates its superiority over the values of the Western world.