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An Imperfect Picture: Media Narratives and Nationalist Sentiment in Russia's War on Terror

Presenters Name: 
Ryan Wolfe
Primary Research Mentor: 
Kyrill Kunakhovich
Secondary Research Mentor: 
12:45 - 1:00
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 12:45pm to 1:00pm
Board Room
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
Harrison Undergraduate Research Grant

The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union initiated a revival of nationalism in Russia. In the 1990s, Russians began grappling with their national identity in new and profound ways, and some came to believe that Russia was strictly for Russians. This was problematic because the Russian Federation contained - and still contains - many non-Russian ethnic groups, including Tatars, Ossetians and Chechens. As Russians’ perceptions of Russia became more exclusionary, hostile attitudes towards non-Russian ethnic groups increased. As a bridge between state and society, the Russian media played a crucial role in the formation of these groups and the consolidation of nationalist sentiment in Russia. This project investigates the ways in which Russian newspapers constructed a clear, nationalist narrative during Russia's War on Terror in Chechnya, which spanned the late 1990s and early 2000s. Focusing on the Russian perspective, this project aims to deliver key insights into the country’s politics, public attitudes, and the relationship between state and society during the formative years of Vladimir Putin's political career.