While global media outlets are focused on whether or not Russia will invade Ukraine, Russian state media views the rising tensions from a different angle.
Over the past 24 hours, evening news coverage and leading Russian newspapers have focused on U.S.-Russia negotiations and the likelihood of a Ukrainian attack on Russia-supported separatists in the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region.
Take a look at our round-up:
The tense negotiations between Russia and the United States were the top story on Perviy Kanal (Channel One).
“We see that our Western colleagues are, without any doubt, in a state of some warmongering frenzy,” the channel showed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling State Duma lawmakers. “We have never attacked anyone, it is us who have always been attacked. And everyone who did it has always got what they deserved.”
Channel One’s coverage continued to focus on Ukraine, quoting ruling United Russia party lawmakers calling for the government to provide the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk with the weapons “they need to contain Kyiv’s aggression.”
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Rossia 1, another leading state-run channel, put Ukraine behind Covid-19 and trade talks between Italy and Russia in their primetime coverage.
“Zelenskiy is trying to calm down a frightened populace, but the United States keeps bringing more and more weapons,” the anchor said.
News agency and newspaper headlines:
State-run TASS news agency: “Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander Will Soon Arrive in Donbas to Prepare for a Possible Ukrainian Main Offensive, Luhansk People’s Republic Claims”
State-run RIA Novosti news agency: “Dmitry Medvedev: Ukraine Has Become Some Sort of a Toy for U.S. and NATO.” The same interview with the former president and current deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council also received coverage in RT, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, and other state media.
Other outlets published articles on alleged Ukrainian aggression:
Komsomolskaya Pravda: “Donetsk has been surrounded! Horlivka has been cut off! Ukrainian and NATO cyber troops have already begun a new war in Donbass.”
Vladimir Solovyov, the pro-Kremlin host of a four-hour morning show on the Vesti-FM radio station and a live YouTube series, interviewed Denis Pushilin, the de facto head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who said: “NATO is pumping weapons into Ukraine.”