Response to these two discussions below respectively with critical thinking and references.



I did not know of Russias power over Crimea, and deciding to look into it more after reading your post. I can understand the current conflict at the Russia- Ukraine boarder better with this knowledge. It is no wonder the West worries that Russia will actually attempt to take over Ukraine as a whole since they have already illegally gained control of Crimea, almost seven years ago now (Pifer, 2020). 

It seems the taking over of Crimea was done in response to Ukraine signing an association agreement with the European Union (Pifer, 2020). I think this made Putin fear having western influence so close to what was a communist soviet Russia at one point. According to the article I read, not longer after that agreement was signed were Russian soldiers turning up at key facilities and checkpoints in Crimea (Pifer, 2020).

In Putin fashion, the referendum that later took place to determine whether Crimea would become more independent or join Russia; determined 96.7% voted to join Russia (Pifer, 2020). This conclusion has scholars baffled because over 40% of those alleged to have voted in the 83% voting turnout are ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars who would not have voted to join Russia (Pifer, 2020). Just two months later a report was leaked from a Human Rights Council in Russia which stayed only 30% of people voted and about 50% voted to join Russia (Pifer, 2020). Which in my view means that they attempted to allow few to vote, and only those they thought would win them back Crimea Moscow has continually claimed ownership (Pifer, 2020).

But regardless of claims, or the fact that around the time it was taken there was about 60% of ethnic Russians living there, Crimea was recognized to be apart of Ukraine after the Soviet Union collapsed (Pifer, 2020). The taking of Crimea is in direct violation of many international agreements including the 1997 Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine (Pifer, 2020).

I can definitely see the Russian government using the media as a tool to misinform Russian people about Russias true claim to Crimea. It is hard to criticized your government when you are faced with little information that does not support the governments actions. Media outlets who do criticize it do not get the same access to the public as bigger publications who post the things Putin wants out there. As you mentioned, having actual pro-Russian personnel be given high ranking position in media outlets would definitely ensure only information he wanted out, would be published.

Given the information discussed about the acquisition of Crimea, and the current state of the Russia and Ukraine boarder, what do you predict will happen in the ongoing crisis?

Do you think Russia will truly advance into Ukraine?

Interested to hear your thoughts!



The discussions need to response

1. Within Russia, censorship of news sources and the internet is nothing out of the ordinary under the rule of Vladimir Putin. Media regulation and information rights are consistently breached and withheld from residents of Russia and have been presented as a growing issue within the country. Having control of the majority of the news that is shown to Russian citizens, the government’s new target has fallen upon social media platforms. 

When investigating the growing issue of media regulation and information rights within social media, I discovered an example that demonstrates Russia’s attempt to regulate social media since it has become one of the main resources for critical public debate in Russia, especially in regards to Alexei Navalny (Human Rights Watch, 2021). Alexei Navalny is the political opposition of Putin who was imprisoned and has sparked protests amongst the citizens of Russia (Human Rights Watch, 2021). To combat those attempting to protest through social media, the Investigative Committee, Russia’s criminal investigation service, posted a video to Youtube claiming that Navalny and his supporters are sponsored by those overseas (Human Rights Watch, 2021). Furthermore, the Russian government has even gone as far as fining social media platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, VKontakte, and Odnoklassniki, which failed to remove “illegal content” and content that encouraged children to protest (Human Rights Watch, 2021). These acts of the government are a clear representation that the government is attempting to regulate the media in their favour and restrict their citizens from their right to protest. 

In addition to restricting the people of Russia’s freedom of speech over social media, they are also monitoring the social media of Russian youth for signs of LBGTQ+ activity and propaganda. Teachers were being instructed to monitor the social media of students between the 5th and 11th grades and report those who showed LGBT symbols to the authorities, along with their addresses and physical descriptions (Baume, 2020). This form of media regulation has stemmed from the anti-gay propaganda laws created in 2013, which has banned queer culture and knowledge from media and public spaces under the pretense that it protects children against the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations (Human Rights Watch, 2018). This example can be analyzed through the Network Gatekeeping Theory, which is a theory that explores different reasons why information is included or excluded from the network (Castells, 2011). This theory explains that social actors look to establish their power through gatekeeping strategies to restrict access to ideas that do not add value to the network or go against the actors’ best interests (Castells, 2011). Information regarding the LBGTQ community does not align with the homophobic views of the Russian government, therefore, is restricted to the Russian population. 

At this point in my writing process, I have yet to find a third example or an additional theory to incorporate into my paper. If anyone has any suggestions or news articles that they are willing to share I would appreciate the help! Looking forward to hearing from you all and reading your posts!


2. The importance of media in a global context is extensive, with huge influence on societies allowing growth for individuals and societies together. Media has evolved social movements to create a positive an informed environment for people around the world but has also come to criticisms for the negative environment and influences it can pose. Media including television, newspaper, and social media have been outlets for governments to positively or negatively shape countries. Countries such as Russia has heavily regulated the use of media with the goal of managing the spread of information and controlling the narrative. 

 Throughout this assignment Russian media and regulations will be examined to identify it’s  importance on the social, cultural, political, and economic aspects of the country’s identity. Russia holds great ownership and influence over media outlets within the nation and has also implemented strict censorship policies in regards to media and internet that are becoming increasingly oppressive.  

 The Russian government holds ownership over a major proportion of Russian newspapers and television outlets. Specifically the government owns two of the most viewed television channels that are available to individuals within the country (Zakem et al., 2018). This leaves little room for a diverse culture of information and media available to the citizens of Russia creating an impact on the shape of the country’s social and political identity. The remaining television channels are greatly influenced and hold strong ties to the government in Russia (Zakem et al., 2018) . With the Russian government holding significant control over the television channels it has resulted in a 40% distrust for Russian television viewers. This has led some individuals turning to Western media outlets in an attempt to gain more insightful information (Zakem et al., 2018) . The distrust and skepticism in Russia’s television broadcasting and information presented in news media has led programming to turn to “political talk shows” in an attempt to manage public opinions and knowledge in a more authentic manner (Zakem et al., 2018) .  

 Another example of the extensive censorship by the Russian government in attempt to maintain control of information is the increasing policies regarding social media platforms. The government has placed oppressive restrictions on social media platforms within the country such as requiring major social media platforms like TikTok to remove any content that would be deemed “illegal” within the Russian state (“Russia: Social Media,” 2021). Many are viewing these policies as a human rights violation in regards to freedom of speech and oppression. The goals of the censorships are to regulate the spread of information and to decrease protesting within the state with the government stating that these platforms “manipulate people’s minds” (“Russia: Social Media,” 2021). 

  The result of these censorship laws that have been increasing within the country has created a large impact on the social identity of the country. Individuals residing in Russia have expressed their increasing frustration with the political ideologies of the government. Mass protests have been an outcome of the increasing outrage towards government corruption within the state (“Russia: Social Media,” 2021).  

 What are your opinions on the distrust and censorship policies that have been implemented in Russia? Do you view these regulations as a human rights violation?