1st Edition

Western Mainstream Media and the Ukraine Crisis A Study in Conflict Propaganda

By Oliver Boyd-Barrett Copyright 2017
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    1. Introduction

    2. Immediate Causes of the 2014 Crisis

    3. Liberal Freedom Fights or Fascist Militia?

    4. Absent Context (1) Struggle for Eurasia

    5. Absent Context (2) Preparing the Neoliberal Turn in Ukraine’s Economy

    6. Crimea, Odessa, and Eastern Ukraine (Donbass)

    7. Representation, Misrepresentation and the Demonizing of Vladimir Putin

    8. The downing of MH17

    9. The Russians are (maybe/probably not) Coming

    10. Articulating the Principles of Western Conflict Propaganda

    11. Conclusion


    Oliver Boyd-Barrett was formerly Director of the School of Media and Communications at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA, and now lectures at California State University. He is author of several books, including Hollywood and the CIA: Cinema, Defense and Subversion (Routledge 2011).