This book explores contemporary propaganda and mainstream Western news media, with reference to the Ukraine crisis.
It examines Western media narratives of the immediate causes of the crisis, the respective roles of those who participated in or otherwise supported the demonstrations of 2013–2014 – including US-backed NGOs and rightist militia – and the legitimacy, or otherwise, of the destabilization of the democratically elected Yanukovych government. It considers how the crisis was contextualized with reference to broader themes of competition for power over Eurasia and the Washington Consensus. It assesses accounts of the role of Russia and of ethnic Russian Ukrainians in Crimea, Odessa and the Donbass and traces how Western mainstream media went out of their way to demonize Vladimir Putin. The book deconstructs prevailing Western narratives as to the reasons for the shooting down of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 in July 2014, and counters Western media concentration on the issue of culpability for the attack with an alternative narrative of egregious failure to close down civilian air space over war zones. From analysis of these discourses, the book identifies principles of post-2001 Western conflict propaganda as these appeared to play out in Ukraine.
This book will be of much interest to students of propaganda, media and communication studies, Russian and Eastern European politics, security studies and IR.