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Russia Scoops World Media Coverage
March 31, 2014 15:17

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Russia has learned to dominate the world news headlines, drawing extensive press coverage with both positive and negative developments.
It started with Syria and Russia’s unswerving support for the current regime in Damascus. The West thought Assad’s resignation was a done deal but after more than two years he’s still in power.
The armed conflict is still ravaging, but the president which has so often been accused of atrocities against his own people is cooperating with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and began direct talks with the opposition. Russia could have given in but it maintained its position and, eventually, averted a potential military strike against Syria, a move which could have ignited a full-blown regional war.
Building on the statements by the US, Moscow has initiated a complete disarmament of Syria’s chemical arsenal, defusing tension over its intentions.
The world press was quick to acknowledge the Kremlin’s strong will and noble aspirations. US President Barack Obama appeared much weaker as a global policy leader.
That positive image was overshadowed by the international response to the ‘gay propaganda laws’ adopted by the Russian parliament. The Kremlin insisted the legislation is not discriminatory but the world media portrayed the bill as a draconian anti-gay move.
It was a mixed bag for Russia as it opened the Winter Olympics in its southern resort of Sochi. Initial mockery of the facilities and tough security arrangements quickly gave way to admiration, both for the organization and the quality of performance. With 33 medals, Russia set a new all-time record of medal haul, beating Soviet achievements. Pictures with amazing sunsets and stunning Olympic medals flooded the Twitter-sphere.
Designed to promote a new, modern Russia, the Sochi Games drew a lot of compliments. But it wasn’t long before the media returned to its Russia-bashing rhetoric. With a move to absorb Crimea, Moscow triggered a bout of hysteria in the international press. Schizophrenic comments were all over the place, warning of new expansionist moves. Russia was again painted as a country living in the Dark Ages.
The balance appears to have been restored recently but any new development can tip the scales. Strikingly, Russia has kept its place in the media headlines for quite a long time now. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russian economy Sochi Games Sochi 2014 Sochi Olympic Games 2014  

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