This post first appeared on Russia Insider
If you want to understand what's going on in Russia, then this is seriously insightful.
One can't usually get captions for this show, but a group of volunteers around the world did it for this show, and shared them with us.
This is the nation's favorite political talk show. These are prominent politicians, authors, journalists, and academics. They are very representative of main-stream thinking in Russia. This is no "censored", or "managed" media. This is the real deal, what most people in Russia think.
The audience applause is also real, not staged.
The format is typically Russian: emotional, slightly chaotic, with flashes of brilliance.
If you don't have time for the whole thing, then pay attention to what one of the guests, Nikolai Starikov, says.
He is an up-and-coming force in Russian politics. An historian who has become very popular due to his history books aimed at a broad, popular audience, he is omni-present in the media. He recently started a political party, which is steadily gaining in popularity. He is very conservative.
You'll be hearing more about him in the future, we think. He's very smart, very articulate, and very popular.
His comments start at the following points: 7.24, 16.50, 27.31, 39.04.
Just so you understand how poorly the western media reports about what is going on here, 90% of journalists who cover Russia do not speak Russian well enough to understand this kind of fast-clip debate. And this program isn't usually translated. So they are really playing catch-up most of the time.
We keep repeating it. Most people in the West, and especially the media which writes about Russia, have a very foggy understanding about what is going on here.
Following is comment about this show from one of our most insightful contributors and analysts, The Saker. It originally appeared on his blog a few days ago.
The show in question called "Sunday evening with Vladimir Soloviev" is one of the most watched shows on Russian TV. It airs at prime time, right after the main Sunday evening news. The people invited to this show are typically very well-known public figures and the topics discussed are the hot topics of the day.
What I am trying to say here is that this show is a very good reflection of the mood in Russia.
I can hear the objection "this is state controlled TV!". Okay, let's say it is. But in this case, is it not interesting to see what kind of ideas the state is trying to sell to the general public? Same goes for the "oligarch controlled TV" argument. What are the oligarchs paying for? Finally, if this channel is trying to appeal to the general public, then it shows what the publics wants to hear.
In reality, this is a state controlled TV channel, a very "mainstream" and "approved one", but also a very popular one. The host, Vladimir Soloviev, is a Russian Jew who is very patriotic and who regularly *blasts* Russian "liberals" (in Russia that means pro-US russophobes) and who makes no secret of his disgust for the current Ukrainian government.
Please watch this very mainstream "state approved" discussion and ask yourself the following questions:
a) If the Kremlin wanted to backstab Novorussia - would it allow such shows on prime time TV?
b) What will happen to Putin if he lets Novorussia be over-run by the Nazi death squads?
c) Do you detect any sign of fatigue, fear, demoralization, surrender or weakness which would indicated to you that "the sanctions are biting" and the Russian public opinion getting weary or otherwise willing to negotiate with the Ukraine, the EU or the USA?
Again, this is very "mainstream", I could *easily* have found far more "patriotic" or "anti-Nazi" shows.
But I wanted to share with you something very "middle of the road", the tip of a much bigger iceberg. I hope that you will find this interesting.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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