Anna Politkovskaya Seminar 2014: The anatomy of media propaganda in Russia

Mainstream Russian media has developed into a veritable propaganda machine.

In particular in coverage of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, propaganda plays an important role in mobilising support for Kremlin’s policies. At the seminar, influential Russian human rights activists describe the propaganda and discuss its impact on the political and human rights situation.

In memory of the Beslan tragedy 10 years ago, the seminar starts with a speech on the continuing efforts by victims and their families to know what happened and to get justice. During the hostage situation in a school in Beslan 1-3 September 2004, at least 385 people died, many of them children. A large number of fatalities resulted from the final storming of the school by Russian security services and police.

14:00 Welcome, Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

14:10 “Still in search of justice: The impact of the Beslan tragedy 10 years after”,
Ella Kesaeva, Director, Organization Voice of Beslan

14:35 The role of Natalia Estimirovas Documentation Center, Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

14:40 Q & A

14:50 “From journalism to propaganda, from democracy to totalitarism?» Alexey Simonov, Director, Glasnost Defense Foundation

15:05 “Impact of propaganda in the North Caucasus”, Grigory Shvedov, Editor, Caucasian Knot

15:20 “Propaganda effects on respect for human rights”, Julia Sereda, Editor, webportal Human Rights in Russia (

15:35 “Hate speech in times of propaganda”, Maria Kravchenko, analyst, Sova Center

15:50 Q&A

16:15 End

About the Russian speakers: 
– Ella Kesaeva is the head of the organization “Voice of Beslan”, which consists of relatives of victims of the Beslan tragedy, who seeks some form of justice;
– Grigory Shvedov is chief-editor of the Caucasian Knot,, a leading source of information and viewpoints on developments in the Caucasus region;
– Alexey Simonov is the head of the Glasnost Defence Foundation, which spreads information on the media situation, as well as monitors media rights violations in Russia;
– Julia Sereda is an editor of the Web Portal Human Rights in Russia as well as a member of the Board of the Human rights Centre Memorial in Ryazan;
– Maria Kravchenko is an analyst of the Sova Center, a leading center in documenting hate speech and violence in the Russian Federation.