Top Headlines in Russia
Key Phrase: NATO
At the NATO Summit in Madrid, NATO allies adopted a new Strategic Concept that labels Russia the main threat to transatlantic security. The top headlines on Yandex’s news aggregator portray the summit relatively neutrally, while the headlines following the summit are conspicuously silent on Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO. Neither of the two articles below even mention the two countries joining the alliance.
- An article in RT simply states the fact that NATO now considers Russia the main threat to its security
- An article in RIA Novosti, citing Bloomberg, predicts that the new Strategic Concept will recognize the growing cooperation between Russia and China
Articles leading up to the summit tried to portray the alliance as aggressive and plagued by challenges.
- An article in Lenta, citing Asia Times and comments from the UK Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, claims the US and NATO will not be able to fight a long-term military conflict because they have depleted material from supplying Ukraine with weapons. On a somewhat unrelated note, the article ends by reminding readers that the American economist and former Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz argued that the United States has embarked on a new cold war with Russia and China.
- An article in Lenta quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov comparing NATO and the EU to the Third Reich and accusing them of building a coalition to go to war with Russia.
- An article in RIA Novosti cites Global Times, a Chinese state media tabloid outlet, arguing that NATO is attempting to encircle Russia and China in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the run-up to the summit, the Top Headlines featured an article in Pravda that quoted a Fox News op-ed arguing that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is bad for the United States because it poses a greater risk of nuclear war with Russia. Yet, the Pravda article cherry picked from the op-ed. For example, it fails to cite the authors’ condemnation of Russia’s war in Ukraine and their reservations about the two nations’ accession to NATO on other grounds, particularly the strain it will put on the US military and the financial obligations the United States will bear.
Regional News Headlines
After the US Supreme Court stripped abortion rights, regional headlines on Yandex’s US site saw an uptick in coverage of the decision. But that coverage still pales in comparison to the mostly negative headlines on President Biden and his administration. Yandex aggregates a lot of articles that quote conservative American columnists. Here is a snapshot:
- An article in solenka.info, quoting Fox News commentator Liz Peek, infers that Putin must be thanking Biden for sanctions hurting the US economy more than the Russian economy.
- An article in RIA Novosti quotes a New York Post poll that finds Americans view Biden as the worst president in US history.
- An article in Polit Rossiya quotes Washington Examiner commentator Christopher Tremgolie, who questioned whether Biden would blame Putin for falling off his bicycle, given his propensity to blame Putin for many of the world’s misfortunes. The original in English reads semi-facetiously, but Polit Rossiya quotes it as if the commentator was being literal.
- An article in Lenta cites Fox News host Tucker Carlson accusing Biden of sparking the gas price crisis.
Interestingly, there was next to nothing in the US regional news headlines on the NATO Summit.
Top Search Results
We examined search results on Yandex for “Neo-Nazis,” a term that has been an integral part of the Kremlin’s justification for its aggression in Ukraine. The Russian government falsely claims that the Ukrainian government is overrun by fascists and Neo-Nazis, and Russia is saving ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s east from them. Like other search terms we study on the dashboard, a search for “Neo-Nazis” yields several academic or neutral links to sources like Wikipedia or Russian-language dictionaries and encyclopedias among the top search results.
But there are also Russian news articles about victims of an alleged Neo-Nazi group in the Donbas or how Neo-Nazis are bombing civilians there. There is a link to life.ru’s chronicling of alleged Ukrainian Neo-Nazi activity in the “special military operation.” Of the news links that appear in the top ten search results, they are generally state-sponsored media or sites towing the Kremlin line.
Every now and then, however, a link to a different type of source appears. Take this link to an article in Novaya Gazeta, the heralded independent Russian news outlet that Russian authorities have long besieged and finally forced into exile after Russia’s censorship laws took effect. The article describes how many of the Kremlin’s far-right allies across Europe, many of which amplify the Kremlin’s justifications of the war in Ukraine to destroy “Neo-Nazis,” harbor Neo-Nazis, racists, and anti-Semites themselves. Still, links like these are few and far between in Yandex’s top ten search results.
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