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Ukraine in World Media Content: Problematic and Thematic Aspects

Оlena T*, Yulia B, Lyudmyla D, Olha S and Volodymyr S

Department of Journalism and Philology, Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine

*Corresponding Author:
Оlena T
Professor of Department of Journalism and Philology
Sumy, Ukraine
Tel: 380-542-33-02-25
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: January 24, 2018; Accepted Date: March 06, 2018; Published Date: March 26, 2018

Citation: Оlena T, Yulia B, Lyudmyla D, Olha S, Volodymyr S. Ukraine in World Media Content: Problematic and Thematic Aspects. Global Media Journal 2018, 16:30.

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The article deals with the content of world famous newspapers such as German “Die Welt” and “Bild”, American “The New York Times” and “New York Post”, British “Independent” and “The Guardian” and Russian “Commersant” and “Rossiiskaya Hazeta” concerning the events in Ukraine. The media, building a scale of the priorities of Ukrainian events, create its image, by ranking the problems of importance and form the imagination of the world community. The image of the state is that system of markers, stable key characteristics that give an idea of the country and make possible to distinguish it among the plurality of other countries. The research was conducted from January 1 to March 31, 2016. Applying the theory of the agenda of McKobs and Shaw, the researchers found the problem-thematic orientation of the materials, their genre embodiment, emotional coloring, and heading features of the content, which characterizes Ukraine as a state, which made it possible to determine the factors that influence the formation of public thoughts about the image of this state. Having identified problematic and thematic content, priority ranking of Ukrainian events, the authors made an attempt to identify Ukraine’s image on the world stage and how it is formed by the foreign media.


Media; Information; Content; Section; Genre; Problematic and thematic content; Image


Of great importance is the way the world perceives Ukraine in the context of globalization as the highest level of the existence paradigm of the world community.

Today this problem has become extremely urgent, because of the struggle for sovereignty, the European choice, the Crimea annexation and Russia military and information aggression. The fight for own state resulted in gaining independence, however, still de jure, but not de-facto. “Without changing own awareness in the competitive world, without creating a national idea of a successful state, it is vain to hope for real changes in Ukraine”, – notes the authors of the book “Games of reflections. How Ukraine is seen by the world” [1].

Both the authorities and politicians have been passively imaging Ukraine on the international scene for 25 years of independence. At the same time, the information epoch made an image, and first of all, the image formed by the media, the main factor of the state in the international arena. The state image is a system of markers, stable key characteristics that give an idea of the country and make it possible to distinguish it among the great number of others.

The state image is an issue, which has attracted the attention of many scientists from different fields during recent decades. Kunczik is considered to be one of the most reputable among foreign scientists. The scientist believes that a nation image consists of a number of attributes that a person recognizes (or imagines) when he thinks of that nation. The researcher, equating the notion of state image and nation image, believes that it consists of three components: cognitive (what we know about the nation), affective (what we feel about it) and activity (how we treat it) [2].

As to Ukraine’s image as a national problem, the popular scientific research “Games of reflections. How Ukraine is seen by the world” by Vodotyka and Magda is of great current interest which highlights the evolution of the international image of Ukraine in the historical retrospective, the theoretical and practical aspects of working on it. The authors reveal the factors influencing the way of Ukraine’s perception in the modern world. The considerable attention is paid to the historical and philosophical contexts of the functioning of stereotypes about Ukraine, as well as to the historical and political background of its image formation in different countries [1].

The media power to form Ukraine’s image is demonstrated by Yulia Kozyr’s monograph “The conceptual model Ukraine-Russia in Ukrainian and Russian media” on the example of Russian media. The author examines the peculiarities of Ukrainian- Russian relations coverage in the media of Ukraine and Russian Federation, the sociocultural meanings of the conceptual model Ukraine-Russia, in particular. The researcher compared the topics (priorities in agenda) and directly sociocultural meanings defined by Greimas’ actantial model and revealed significant differences in semantic content of events, which are reflected in the distribution of roles of Ukraine and Russia as actors involved in media narratives about interstate relations [3].

Understanding the importance of forming a positive international image of Ukraine the Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed an appropriate draft concept of state program for 2007-2010. It was the first time then that they talked about the creation of the brand "Ukraine" as a commercial project. However, the concept of forming the image of the country was not defined. “The work to promote a national brand requires effort and, what is more important, desire. Today our state is demonstrating neither the first nor the second” [4].

The recent studies of North American publications, in particular, testify to the corruption of Ukrainian authorities, increased crime and economic collapse in Ukraine [5]. As to the positive, there is information about successful scientific and technical developments, sport achievements, artistic projects. At the same time, these journalists focus on terrible conditions in which Ukrainian scientists, athletes, artists are working. Western European mass media pay a bit more attention to the design developments of Ukrainian scientists, stressing that they can compete with American projects, but they emphasize Ukrainian poverty and lack of freedom of speech.

In foreign policy, the emphasis is put on Ukraine’s unpredictability and instability as an international partner, country with an undemocratic, corrupt state system and increasing state pressure on civil society and human rights infringement. The complex of stereotypes is becoming widespread: Ukraine is a corrupt country with ineffective government; Ukrainian democracy does not meet Western standards, Ukrainian justice is selective [6].

At the same time, French media present Ukraine as a warrior state, which fights for its national independence and territorial integrity, which belongs by right. Ukraine’s image is a hero image meant to defeat the enemy with the support of friendly nations, namely, the European Union countries. Ukrainians are patriotic, people of spirit [7]. As we can see, Ukraine has already had a certain image, so we have to speak about positive image formation and media playing an important role in this.

Hypothesis: media construct priorities scale of Ukrainian events, rank the problems as to their importance and, thus, shape the perception of the world community, creating Ukraine’s image in such a way.

Objective of the Study

On the basis of analysis of factual data and emotional coloring of the content of the world media to determine the main tendencies which concern the forming of the image of Ukraine on the international arena.

Research Methodology

The research was conducted from January 1 to March 31, 2016. The German newspapers “Die Welt” and “Bild”, the American newspapers “New York Times” and “New York Post”, the British newspapers “Independent” and “The Guardian”, the Russian newspapers “Commersant” and “Rosiiskaya Hazeta” were analyzed.

The choice is determined by several factors. The common thing is that all the named media are daily issues, have significant print runs and the most popular online versions. All of the mentioned newspapers position themselves as "prestigious", "important for the whole nation," are read by political and public figures, businessmen, journalists, and expert circles around the world.

There are also some definite peculiarities. "New York Times" is regarded as a "prestigious" newspaper that expresses the point of view of the elite. It is believed that this point of view is semiofficial, but it approaches the government. It is the main provider of information from abroad for various segments of American society, “New York Post” has a significant influence on politics, and this publication is considered to be the best from the point of view of the current US president Donald Trump. "Independent" is ideologically close to the Liberal Democratic Party, pays special attention to the issues of human rights. “The Guardian” sticks to the left-centric orientation, and is popular among the British liberal readers. "Die Welt" follows the conservative direction, and from the point of view of economic policy its position is described as "clearly liberal". “Bild” proclaims itself as "an independent and non-party newspaper". “Kommersant” is a social and political newspaper with an intensive business block. "Rosiiskaya Hazeta" is a daily edition of the Government of the Russian Federation.

The main method of research was the content analysis, both quantitative and qualitative. Content analysis as an empirical method was used to describe the content and formalities of publications about Ukraine. Thus, we were able to find out the problem-thematic orientation, its genre embodiment and the emotional coloring of the materials, the system of heading features of the media. To determine the effectiveness of publications about events in Ukraine that form the public opinion about the image of the state, we used the theory of "Agendasetting". In the analysis of the factual material the methodological apparatus of conceptual modeling was used. Among the scientific methods were used such as analysis, synthesis and descriptive method for the investigation of the scientific literature, for the determination of the importance of textual information and the substantiation of the research results.


It is known that according to the agenda-setting theory of McCombs and Shaw, the journalists’ choice of topics for publications, their priorities acquire particular importance [8]. It is the media, which attract the audience attention to certain issues, they not only inform, but also make some issues important. Therefore, the “news order” becomes a criterion, a norm for a society how to perceive the world... news media determine the public program, defining what should be stressed out, perceived as an impetus for reflection and, probably, for certain actions [9].

61 publications reflecting Ukrainian events were published on the pages of the national German daily “Die Welt”. Such Ukrainian issues as separatism, the Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko’s trial, the Crimean Tatars remained in the annexed Crimea, the negotiations between Ukraine and Germany (participation of the latter in reconciliation of the conflict between our state and Russia, in particular), the life of residents of the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, Chornobyl tragedy, resignation of Arseniy Yatseniuk government, military conflict between Ukraine and Russia became a priority for German journalists.

Let us study the most characteristic publications concerning these issues.

“How separatists torture hostages in Ukraine” [10] tells the story of the journalist Maria Varfalamieieva , who was in captivity for a long time. The woman, being already free, told about the conditions in which separatists kept people, as well as, their attitude towards the prisoners. The author describes in detail tortures, malicious insults, humiliation and interrogation procedures that are applied to hostages.

“Russia is a country of complacent dictator” [11] describes one day of a prisoner’s trial. The author truly reproduces the court atmosphere, the parties speeches, describes Savchenko’s behavior and also comments on the probable imprisonment term of 22 years, the pilot’s rejection and protest, her deep conviction as to illegality of her arrest.

“Ukraine choses a representative of Crimean Tatars to sing in Stockholm” [“Ukraine tritt mit Krimtatarin”, 2016] tells about the results of national selection for the song contest “Eurovision – 2016”. It is known that the Ukrainian singer Jamala, a Crimean Tartar by the origin, won with the song “1944”, which is devoted to the tragic events of the deportation of her people. The author of the publication tries to connect such a choice of Ukrainian music lovers to the current events in the Crimea.

“Merkel: Ukraine puts at stake a lot” [11] is about the regular negotiations between the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. The meeting subject is Minsk Agreements, which, unfortunately, do not provide peace in our country. The author makes a brief review of the development of described event and comments on it.

“Survival in “gray zone” between the fronts” [12] demonstrates the lives of the inhabitants of Kominternove village seized by the separatists. The author depicts the psychological state of the population separated from the state and, therefore, deprived of state social protection.

“Chernobyl will be assisted to neutralize nuclear reactor danger” [13]. The author makes a historical overview, comments on the problem of the world countries investment to shut down the nuclear reactor, which bears danger. “Why did not Ukraine do proper investments during almost 30 years to prevent the tragedy of 1986?” – the author tries to give an answer due to deep analysis of historical facts.

“Yatseniuk coalition loses majority” [14]. The author tries to explain the crisis causes of Ukrainian authorities. The material was prepared at the time of the exit of “Samopomich” and “Batkivshchyna” party from the coalition. The events in Ukraine are shown through the perception of the Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatseniuk. The head of government sees the problem in the existence of a “shadow coalition”, which illegitimate activity prevented Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Cabinet from working.

“Can we tell each other where they shoot?”– The problem of information policy and security and the role of media in the military conflict escalation are touched upon. The author analyzes cases when false information, published in the mass media, destroyed the fate of representatives of different peoples. The journalist urges to follow professional standards.

The events in Ukraine are reflected in the following sections of the German newspaper “Die Welt” such as: politics, opinion, panorama, culture, business, and review (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine according to sections (“Die Welt”).

The genre content can be presented as follows: news items, mails, interview, and video report (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Genre representation of materials as to events in Ukraine (“Die Welt”).

Having analyzed the content of “Die Welt”, it is possible to say that the events of political, economic and Ukrainian social life are urgent for German journalists, which attract attention to such Ukrainian issues as Ukrainian authorities passivity, Russia’s acknowledgement as an aggressor, Germany’s role in preserving Ukraine’s sovereignty and solving urgent issues in Ukrainian state. Ukraine is shown as a state that cannot defend itself. At the same time, the materials of “Die Welt” position Germany as a powerful, authoritative state able to protect our country from the aggressor. We found 127 materials concerning Ukraine on the pages of the online version of “Bild”. The following Ukrainian issues were urgent for the journalists of “Bild”: Russia is an aggressor state that supports separatism and terrorism, the political and economic crisis in Ukraine, the war in the East of Ukraine, Ukrainian cultural, and sport events.

The vivid examples of the coverage of these issues are the following publications. “Putin’s propaganda is a secret war” [15] tells about Russia’s intentions to destabilize the situation in Germany, weaken the EU and isolate Germany on the international level using propaganda and disinformation. It is known that Federal Republic of Germany is an advocate of countries suffering from political, economic and military pressure from Russian Federation. The content is based on the facts provided by competent people such as the member of Bundestag Committee on Intelligence Surveillance Armin Schuster and the German foreign policy expert Hans-Peter Uhl.

“Tymoshenko party leaves the government coalition” [16]. This article is about February events when after the failure of vote of no-confidence to the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk, “Batkivshchyna” Party, headed by Yuliia Tymoshenko, left the coalition. The author draws attention to the fact that “Samopomich” may leave the coalition following this political force, which will significantly weaken the government and result in its decrease of popularity.

“Schadt visits forgotten children of war” [17]. The article describes a three-day visit of Daniela Schadt, the first lady of Germany, the wife of the President Joachim Gauk, to Ukraine. She visited Ukraine as a patroness of German branch of UNICEF. The material says that the main purpose of Daniela Schadt’s visit is to assess the state of children and families from Donbass. The war in the East of Ukraine is an issue which draws attention of many editions as it can affect Europe, having touched all spheres of life of European countries: economic, social, political etc.

“Song about Crimean Tatars will be on Eurovision” [18]. The most discussed issue was the choice of a participant for Eurovision — 2016. It was Jamala with the song “1944”, dedicated to the deportation of the Crimean Tatars according to Stalin’s order in 1944. Russia (the Head of Duma Vadym Dengin) commented on Ukraine’s choice as follows: the commission decision is provocative and of political character.

24 sections contained information about events in Ukraine: “Foreign policy” – 54, “Football” – 11, “World News” – 3, "Bundesliga: Season 2015-2016” – 8, “People” – 1, “Economics” – 7, “Boxing” – 3, “News”–1, “State policy” – 18, “Music” – 1, “Biathlon” – 1, “Hannover” – 2, “Munich” – 3, “Berlin” – 3, “Politics” – 2, “Leipzig” – 1, “Internet” – 1, “Hamburg” – 1, “Rest in Europe” – 1, “Dresden” – 1 and “Consultant” – 1 material. This testifies to the wide coverage of Ukrainian issues (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Distribution of materials as to Ukrainian events (“Bild”).

It is necessary to mention that the genre content of the materials in the online version of “Bild” is due to the principle of convergent journalism. The publications about events in Ukraine have been reflected in the following genre forms: multimedia story (symbiosis of a traditional article, an interview, mails etc.), an extended news item and a blog (Figure 4).


Figure 4: Genre presentation of materials about events in Ukraine (“Bild”).

“Bild” as well as “Die Welt” touches upon the topic of the undeclared war between Ukraine and Russia. In the context of the newspaper materials, Ukraine is presented as a country having no stable political and economic systems that could ensure the country’s dynamic development in general. At the same time, it is emphasized that Germany is ready and able to assist Ukraine in any sphere and help reconcile the conflict with Russian Federation due to sanctions and negotiations. However, unlike “Die Welt”, the journalists of “Bild” emphasize Ukraine’s prospects. This is evident from the publications about the cultural and sports life of the country, in particular. Compared with “Die Welt”, “Bild” writes a lot about sports, devoting particular sections to it (Football, Handball, Boxing, etc.). It is stressed out that Ukraine has great potential and is ready for European integration.

174 materials about Ukraine from January 1 to March 31, 2016 were found on the internet pages of the daily newspaper “The New York Times”, which has one of the largest circulations in the USA. The agenda of this edition included the following Ukrainian issues: the USA role in reconciling of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Russia is an aggressor country, Russia’s pressure on Ukraine in order to worsen its socio-economic status, the Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko’s trial, sports and cultural life of Ukraine. The coverage examples of these issues are the following publications.

“Russia and the U.S. Agree to Try to Bolster Cease-Fire in Syria” [19] states that America is trying again and again to prevent aggression diplomatically on the part of Russian Federation from which suffers not only the East of Ukraine, but also Syria. As far as Ukraine is concerned, the United States continue to urge Russian Federation to sit down at the negotiating table and implement Minsk Agreements.

“Relying Again on an Unreliable Mr. Putin” [20]. The publication is of an analytical character, the main message of which is as follows: “The central figure in the fight is Volodymyr Putin, the president of Russia”. The author compares the conflict in the East of Ukraine, where there are battles between Ukraine and Russian Federation, and the war between Russia and Syria. The journalist urges world not to trust Putin’s “peaceful steps”, the ceasefire in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, in particular. To his mind, Putin will make any promise to preserve his popularity and stay in the president’s seat. Instead, the author sees many opportunities to liquidate the “bloody dictator”.

“Russia Sues Ukraine in London Court over the Unpaid Debt Claim” [21]. It deals with a lawsuit as to Ukraine’s $3 billion debt for an existing loan filed to the Supreme Court of England. The author notes that this fact only increases tension in countries relations that are already in the state of war. The publication shows positive attitude towards Ukraine. Pursuing the main aim to be objective, the journalist reflects on granting a credit that could be accompanied by violations and it is unknown whether the credit was used by the state: Russia allegedly invested funds in the development of Ukraine during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych in 2013. This causes suspicion that money could be pocketed by the former President and not be used as intended.

“Russian Prosecutors Seek 23-Year Prison Term for Ukrainian Pilot” [21] the article deals with a long trial of the Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko, who was groundlessly accused of shooting Russian journalists by Russian prosecutors. During the material preparation, the court tried to sentence the woman to 23 years of imprisonment. The journalists question the fairness of justice in Russian Federation, pointing at the fact that, according to Ms. Savchenko, the rebels seized her before fire. At the same time, the author draws attention to the fact that a soldier cannot be considered a criminal when he fights with an enemy.

“Ukrainian Runner Fails Drug Test” [22]. The material informs that Ukrainian athlete Natalia Lupa took meldonium before the competition. It is mentioned that Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova also uses such method of improving sports results.

“Movie Listings for Feb. 19-25” [“Movie Listings for Feb. 19-25”]. The material contains short movie reviews. The list contains the American - Ukrainian film “Maydan”, which shows the events of the Revolution of Dignity 2013-2014, where the rebels are shown as heroes of Ukrainian people who fight for freedom and democracy.

Thus, publications concerning Ukrainian life are found in the following sections: “World” – 64, “Science” – 2, “USA” – 18, “Opinion” – 23, “Cinema” – 3, “Theater” – 1, “Business” – 11, “Multimedia” – 5, “Sport” – 18, ‘"New York / Region” – 12, “Blogs” – 2, “Fashion and Style” – 1, “Art” – 4, “Books – 1, “Working Day” – 2, “Your money” – 1, “Education” – 1 and “Magazine” – 5 (Figure 5).


Figure 5: Distribution of materials about events in Ukraine as to sections (“The New York Times”).

The problematic and thematic component of Ukrainian content in the online version of “The New York Times” is reflected in the following genre forms: a blog, an extended news item, a photo report (Figure 6).


Figure 6: Genre presentation of materials about events in Ukraine (“The New York Times”).

Analyzing the content of “New York Times” as to Ukraine, it can be concluded that the newspaper positions the United States as the most effective fighter against Russian aggression, which destabilized life in Ukraine and caused its political, economic and social decline. The publication blames any negative actions of Russian Federation, aimed at Ukraine. The American newspaper is completely on Ukraine’s side. At the same time, one can trace the idea that the United States cannot see the prospect for Ukrainian authorities to resolve the conflict without assistance. Therefore, Ukraine needs a “Big Brother” who would assume responsibility for the future.

During the period from January 1 to May 31, 2016, 22 materials about Ukraine were published in the online version of “New York Post”, which is one of the oldest Americans weekly with the largest circulation.

The agenda of the online version of “New York Post” the following Ukrainian events were covered: Russia is a provoker of military actions in various parts of the world, including the East of Ukraine, Ukrainians abroad, sports topics, boxing, air transport of Ukraine. The editorial policy in Ukrainian events coverage can be demonstrated on the example of the following publications.

“Vladimir Putin will only become more murderous and dangerous” [23]. The author is shocked by the abnormally positive attitude of the Russian citizens towards their president, who has repeatedly proved the world his authoritarianism and dictatorship. The journalist draws attention to the fact that Putin acts insidiously and nurtures plans for destabilization of world politics, economics etc. The annexation of the Crimea, the military actions in the East of Ukraine – “in both operations he used veiled forces, smiling, he denied his involvement in everything”, — the author concludes.

“23-year-old fake high school student confesses to having sex with minor” [24] informs how a Ukrainian had been able to deceive the US authorities and police for a long time, successfully study at a US school, live in a foster family and to be an activist among teenagers. The man pretended to be an eighteen year old and used documents issued for Asher Potts. After being arrested, Arthur confessed to have sex with a minor.

“Meet Charles Martin, heavyweight hope with Holyfield as mentor” [25] is a brief story of success of the American professional boxer Charles Martin, where the name of Ukrainian boxer Viacheslav Hlazkov as a rival of the American is mentioned. In addition, there is a brief announcement of the return fight between Volodymyr Klychko and Tyson Fury.

“You’re more likely to be killed intentionally on an airplane than accidentally” [26] is a journalistic investigation of the world plane crashes, which took place in recent years. The author mentions the terrible crash of Malaysian Boeing 777-200 of Malaysia Airlines which made a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and on July 17, 2014 crashed near Torez, which borders on Luhansk oblast. The publication states: the plane was really shot down by DPR terrorist group, which fights in the East of Ukraine.

The sections content, which includes publications as to Ukraine is as follows: “News” – 17, “Video” – 1 and “Opinion” – 4 materials (Figure 7).


Figure 7: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine according to sections (“The New York Post”).

The problematic and thematic content of publications as to Ukraine was presented by the following genre forms: extended news items, video reports, blogs and articles (Figure 8).


Figure 8: Genre representation of materials as to events in Ukraine (“The New York Post”).

New York Post informs about global developments in Ukraine, which other media consider insignificant: military conflict between Ukraine and Russian Federation. The aggression on the part of Russian Federation is considered not locally, but in the context of world military actions. Also New York Post deals with such topics as plane crashes over the territory of Ukraine, illegal stay of a Ukrainian in the United States etc. There is such an impression that the publication tries to show the Ukrainian authorities inability to “survive” in the modern world.

During the mentioned period, 31 publications about events in Ukraine were found in the content of the online version of “The Guardian”, which is one of the most influential newspapers in the UK.

The following events of Ukrainian life were urgent for this English edition: military operations in the East of Ukraine, trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko, cooperation with IMF, decommunization process, Chornobyl tragedy, offshore of highlevel officials, Ukraine’s victory in Eurovision-2016, undeclared war between Ukraine and Russia. The abovementioned events are reflected in the following publications.

“In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine by Tim Judah review – humane and haunting” [27]. In fact it is the presentation of Tim Judah’s book about the conflict in the East of Ukraine. The journalist focuses on the author’s painstaking work as to true coverage of military actions.

“Ukrainian pilot given 22-year jail sentence by Russian court” [28]. It tells about Nadiia Savchenko verdict, providing comments from lawyers of Ukrainian and Russian parties, and describes the ambiguous reaction of the audience at the moment of reading out the sentence.

“IMF warns Ukraine it will halt $40bn bailout unless corruption stops” [29]. The IMF chairman, Christine Lagarde, is concerned about the possibility of granting $ 40 billion tranche to Ukraine. Her concern is conditioned by the fact that Ukraine is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries of the world; inflation rate is constantly increasing resulting in hryvnia devaluation and decrease in population solvency. The Ukrainian politician Pavlo Klimkin asks not to escalate the situation as Christine Lagarde’s reflections are a remark, not last warning.

“Removing the statues of Lenin won't decommunise Ukraine” [30]. It informs about t the dismantling of Lenin monument in Zaporizhzhia. The article, written immediately after the event, describes the monument and difficulties that arose while dismantling. The author, reflecting on the architecture of Zaporizhzhia and other Ukrainian cities, concludes that the monument demolition was only a small step towards city renewal. Soviet style of urban planning strongly affected the architecture of Zaporizhzhia. “Chernobyl disaster 30 years on: what do you remember?” The author, reminding the main historical facts and the impact of radiation emissions on human health and environment, emphasizes that the terrible catastrophe has become a disaster not only for Soviet Union, but also for the whole world.“Ukraine’s leader set up secret offshore firm as battle raged with Russia”. The publication focuses on the report on the hidden assets of the leaders of different countries, the documents that reveal offshore activities of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, in particular. The author gives Poroshenko’s official comments on the legitimacy of such a campaign and portrays the society response to such President’s actions.

“Ukraine’s Eurovision entry takes aim at Russian oppression” [Brown, 2016]. It tells about sharp criticism as to Jamala and her contest song on the part of Russian politicians. The author cites the singer’s words, who devoted her song to the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in XX century and gives the background of that terrible page in the history of the Crimea.

“The missing: what have they done with our sons?” [31]. The article considers the destiny of the peaceful Ukrainian population, which appeared in the midst of military operations. The author tells about mothers’ grief, their disbelief in the state future, because their sons died in the war. The article shows the miserable life of ordinary people and the state’s attitude to them. It tells about some heroes who personify many soldiers.

The publications about Ukraine were included to such sections as “News” – 25, “Politics” – 2, “World” – 4 materials (Figure 9).


Figure 9: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine according to sections (“The Guardian”).

It is necessary to mention one peculiarity of the editorial policy of the newspaper: the post of “People’s Editor”, i.e. a person defending the interests of readers.

The problematic and thematic content of publications as to Ukraine was presented by the following genre forms: extended news item, article, and mails (Figure 10).


Figure 10: Genre representation of materials as to events in Ukraine (“The Guardian “).

“The Guardian” is the most reserved in its judgments and is characterized by neutral attitude in covering events in Ukraine. The publications that deal mostly with the conflict between Ukraine and Russian Federation can be found on its pages. Russia is perceived as an aggressor, but at the same time, we have not found strong accusations against Russia. The edition covers cultural and sport life in Ukraine not commenting on the level and nature of their development.

59 materials as to events in Ukraine appeared in online version of “Independent” during the mentioned period. The edition journalists called the following issues in Ukraine’s life the most urgent: Malaysian plane crash, political and economic crises in Ukraine, Chornobyl catastrophe, cultural and sport life of Ukraine. The peculiarities of Ukrainian issues coverage is illustrated by the following publications.

“Suspect arrested over attempted assassination of chief forensic expert in MH17 probe” [32]. The article states that an attempt on the head of investigation team was made to slow down the investigation of reasons of the crash of plane flying from the Netherlands to Malaysia. The author reminds that 298 people died as a result of the tragedy and most of them were European citizens. The article gives the comment of the commission chairman, confirming that the aircraft was shot down by a missile. The main issue remains to determine a perpetrator of the catastrophe, as at that time it was unknown from which territory the missile was launched.

“International blacklist of tax havens will be drawn up” [33]. The article deals with the response to the publication of an international journalist investigation as to the establishment of offshore companies on the Virgin Islands by various officials and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, in particular, who founded an offshore company during the war conflict in the East of Ukraine.

“Super-structure to cover Chernobyl preventing radiation from escaping for the next century” [34]. The newspaper informs about the construction of a protective sarcophagus over Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the completion of which had been scheduled by the end of 2018. The £ 1.2 billion project was the result of the collaboration of leading scientists, engineers and designers from all over the world. As the project manager said such construction was a real challenge for scientists.

“Eurovision 2016: Over to you, Russia” [35]. The author assures that despite the seriousness of topic, the song is easily perceived and will have a chance to succeed in the contest. Moreover, he reminds that Russian officials blamed the singer for outright provocation and slander.

“Andriy Yarmolenko: Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool on alert as Ukraine coach implores Premier League move” [36]. The publication tells about the possible purchase of the national team player by one of the British clubs. The football player is currently assessed in £ 25 million. According to the head coach Mykhaylo Fomenko, the footballer has every chance to show a good result during the matches and to prove himself a professional. The Ukrainian content is represented in such sections as “Politics” – 25, “World” – 12, “Voices” – 22 publications (Figure 11).


Figure 11: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine according to sections (“Independent”).

The genre content of the materials in the online version of “Independent” is due to the principle of convergent journalism: multimedia story (symbiosis of a traditional article, an interview, mails etc.), an extended news item and a blog (Figure 12).


Figure 12: Genre representation of materials as to events in Ukraine (“Independent”).

It is obvious that “Independent” brings to the forefront the issue of the undeclared war in the East of Ukraine. However, there are not many materials about the conflict and the peculiarities of its deployment. The military aggression is mostly viewed through the prism of other events. For example, the victory of Jamala in the national selection to participate in Eurovision with a song about the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 is regarded as a political manoeuvre of our state. The journalists say that Ukrainians are trying to attract attention of the world community in such a way. 272 materials about Ukraine were published on the pages of Russian daily “Commersant” during the above mentioned period.

The publication agenda included the following Ukrainian events: activity of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Minsk Agreements, gas supply from Russia, the Crimea as a federal district of Russian Federation, trial of the Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko, migration of Ukrainian citizens to Russia, crisis of Ukrainian government. The peculiarities of Ukrainian issues coverage are most clearly presented by such publications. “For Poroshenko elections in Donbass is collapse of Ukrainian politics” [37]. The publications contain critical assessment of Poroshenko’s activity. The author states that the president cannot stabilize the situation in the country and the only thing that he is really anxious about is to keep the position of the state head. The journalist writes that Poroshenko is concerned about the election in so called DPR, which may lead to power seizure by the supporters of “Russian world” and, in its turn, it will result in a conflict inside the country and may do much harm to his reputation.

“Most likely the conflict in Donbass remains frozen for a long time” [38]. It informs that Petro Poroshenko, making speech in the US Congress, urged the world community to strengthen sanctions against Russia. The journalist emphasizes that such words worth nothing and will result in nothing. “In general, there are so many contradictions that it seems that a hope for some kind of changes vanished ago, although both the United States and West promised to end the conflict”, — concluded the author.

“Angela Merkel urged Volodymyr Putin to “influence the separatists” [39]. It tells about a telephone conversation between the President of Russian Federation and the Chancellor of Germany, during which the leaders discussed the ways to resolve conflict in Ukraine, emphasized the obligatory nature of Minsk Agreements and also agreed to continue work within the framework of “Normandy format”. Merkel’s office urged Mr. Putin to “influence the separatists” in Donbass and ensure access for OSCE observers to all areas of the conflict, the state border of Ukraine, in particular. The President of Russian Federation and the German Chancellor discussed the future of the constitutional reform in Ukraine and the local elections in Donbass in accordance with the legislation agreed with the authorities of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

“Gazprom” plans to supply gas to Ukraine up to 2018” [40]. The publication informs the readers that Gazprom continued gas export for three years more. However, Ukrainian authorities assure their citizens that it is not necessary to buy Russian gas and the gas independence from Moscow is considered the main achievement of the government. Thus, the author stresses the differences in the words and actions of the ruling elite of Ukraine.

“Sergey Aksenov was not entrusted with Federal Targeted Program of the Crimea Development” [41]. The article deals with the development of “new” territory of Russian Federation and new business rules, in particular. Thus, we can assume that the editorial board considers the annexation of the Crimea to be lawful.

“The Kremlin admits the theoretical possibility of Nadiia Savchenko’s exchange” [42]. It is the history of the Ukrainian pilot trial, who was accused of Russian journalists shooting. The author notes that there is a possibility for Nadiia Savchenko’s exchange, but the President Volodymyr Putin should approve it. As we already know, after a while Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in prison, so the amnesty from the President of Russia did not follow.

“Who is the master in the house?” [43]. The article informs that in the conditions of economic crisis, the number of Ukrainians willing to go to Russia has increased in order to work as a servant, a nanny etc. It is noted that Russia as a peacemaker allows Ukrainians to come to avoid military service in ATO zone.

“Arseniy Yatseniuk’s government will go down in history next few days" [44]. It is said that Batkivshchyna Party leader Yuliia Tymoshenko is dissatisfied with the activity of the present government and, first of all, prime-minister Arseniy Yatseniuk. “Batkivshchyna” has already left the coalition and is expecting the resignation of the prime minister. The author notes that in the near past Arseniy Yatseniuk and Yuliia Tymoshenko were allies. The Ukrainian content is represented in such sections as “Country” (24 materials), “World” (238 materials), “Economics” (10 materials) (Figure 13).


Figure 13: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine according to sections (“Commersant”).

All materials as to events in Ukraine are written in the genre of an extended news item. “Commersant” most often touches on Ukrainian-Russian conflict in Donbass and the Crimea as a federal district of Russian Federation. However, it is emphasized that such measures are forced and the problems are made up by Ukraine. The Crimea was separated from Ukraine in order to protect Russian-speaking citizens and there were no soldiers of Russian Federation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts at all (it is a civil war for the right to enter Russia, which is as a defender and guarantor of stability). It should be taken into account that “Коммерсант” has never named military operations in Ukraine a war. It can be “concluded” that Ukraine is stuck in problems and is unable to solve them on its own from Ukrainian content of “ Commersant”. Ukraine gave own destiny at the mercy of Europe and the United States instead of accepting the assistance of the neighboring country with which it had exclusively friendly relationship for a long time. Having done that Ukrainian authorities are even in more trouble, demonstrating ineffectiveness and causing general impoverishment of the people. However, Russia positions itself as a peacemaker which is always ready to come to rescue.

While studying “Rosiiskaya Hazeta” which is an official edition of the Government of Russian Federation, 1357 publications covering events in Ukraine were found. Such Ukrainian issues as non-participation of the Kremlin in events in Ukraine, annexation of the Crimea, political crisis in Ukraine, Nadiia Savchenko’s trial, the EU manipulates Ukraine, Russia offers Ukrainians help were urgent for this official publication.

Let us consider the most characteristic of them. “Was it again Moscow which launches a grenade?” [45] tells about the explosion near the car of Deputy Volodymyr Parasiuk. The author supposes that Russia’s supporters will again be suspected in order to escalate the conflict between neighboring countries. The journalist writes that it has become a tradition lately to accuse pro-Russian activists in Ukraine. The author assumes negative attitude towards the policy of Ukrainian government and Volodymyr Parasyuk, in particular. Moreover he even comes down to personal insults: “Until then the doctors had already injected Parasiuk sedatives, prone to hysterics, and the police tried to find traces of an attack on the parking lot”.

“Aksenov: Ukraine has run out of pressure methods on the Crimea” [46]. It defends the Kremlin’s position as to legality of the Crimea’s joining to Russia; the journalist informs the readers that Ukraine makes pressure on the inhabitants of the Crimea to make them return to Ukraine. “Ukrainian authorities use all available “weapons” from stopping supplies of water, electricity and food to propaganda and threat of military invasion. These actions cause resentment and disgust of inhabitants of the Crimea. The humanitarian aggression of the neighboring state united us more. We are convinced that the choice made two years ago was right “, — states Sergey Aksenov.

“Rada still fevers” [47]. It says that the resignation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk, which did not take place, deepened the political crisis. “At the same time, the issue of pre-term elections remains central, however, the game of Ukrainian political players was spoilt by Mykhaylo Saakashvili’s “anti-corruption” party project, which is gaining popularity. Incidentally, when Poroshenko met with his deputies, the car of the US ambassador Jeffrey Payet was spotted by the local paparazzi at the entrance to the Cabinet building,” — informs the article.

“Hope was not justified” [48]. The article informs that Ukrainian pilot was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment: “The General Prosecutor Office is satisfied with the court verdict in the criminal case of Ukrainian citizen Nadiia Savchenko, who was found guilty of committing a felony — murder of civilians, illegal crossing of state border”. The Kremlin's position is easily traced: “The crimes motive was hatred towards the social group of the inhabitants of Luhansk oblast, as well as to Russian-speaking people in general”.

“From Rhine to Dnipro” [49] It states that Ukraine in order to please Europe agreed to accept 250 refugees from Syria on its territory and place them in Yahotyn in houses built for them near Kiev. It is also stated the following: “It turned out that the funds for the completion were allocated by the government in accordance with “Action Plan on Visa Liberalization and Action Plan on Implementation of the Association Agreement”. Armen Shakhariants, the deputy of Kyiv city council, published this information on his page in social networks. His quote states: “Rich Europe does not want to accept refugees, but poor Ukraine, even being in war state, has to. Yagotyn is a small city, 250 refugees will become a nightmare for it. We have more than a million of own refugees in Ukraine. Ukrainians themselves are looking for opportunities to escape somewhere. And we are ready to accept refugees in our country, when hundreds of families of ATO participants are in queues for housing”. Thus, the following conclusion can be made as to the idea of publication: Ukraine as a state cannot provide social guarantees for its citizens.

“To settle down will be simpler for Ukrainian refugees in Russia” [50]. The publication clearly demonstrates the efforts of journalists of “Российская Газета” to convince their readers that Russia is a peacemaker and emphasize the aggressive policy of Ukraine. “The government has submitted to State Duma a draft bill as to simplified procedure for issuing a temporary residence permit in Russia to foreigners who had to leave Ukraine by force”, — said the statement. Moreover, it informs about measures providing comfortable and legitimate stay of Ukrainians on the territory of Russian Federation: “As it was reported a month ago, the government would allocate almost 3 billion rubles in 2016 to support refugees from Ukraine in the regions of Russia. The Prime Minister signed the corrspondent decrees on January 26”.

Thus, the content of the newspaper as to events in Ukraine was reflected in the following sections: “Authorities” – 402 , “Economics” – 51, “World” – 467, “Events” – 172 , “Society” – 180 , “Sport” – 31 and “Culture” – 54 materials (Figure 14). The problematic and thematic content of publications as to Ukraine was presented by the following genre forms as an article, mails, an extended news item, which represent news genre (Figure 15). The editorial policy of “Rosiiskaya Hazeta” is similar to “Commersant”: Russia denies its involvement in destabilizing of general situation in the world (the deployment of military operations in a number of countries etc.). Ukraine is perceived as inconsistent state, which is led by Europe and America. Russia is a peacemaker, which is not understood in the world. The materials of “Российская Газета” are aimed at undermining the authority of Ukraine.


Figure 14: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine according to sections (“Rosiiskaya Hazeta”).


Figure 15: Genre representation of materials as to events in Ukraine (“Rosiiskaya Hazeta”).


During the investigation it was found out that during the period from January 1 to March 31, 2016, in the investigated media were published 2103 journalistic materials devoted to events in Ukraine. The number of publications is far from proportional. The greatest attention paid the newspapers of the Russian Federation - 1629 materials, which is 78% (“Rosiiskaya Hazeta” - 1357, “Commersant” - 272). The following are: the USA – 196, that is 9% (“The New York Times” - 174, “New York Post” - 22); Germany - 188, the same 9% (“Bild” - 127, “Die Welt” - 61); England – 90, that is 4% (“Independent” - 59, “The Guardiane” - 31). The ratio of publications in percent is shown in Figure 16.


Figure 16: Distribution of materials as to events in Ukraine in world media.

Regarding the sections, the content dedicated to the events in Ukraine often took place in the “News” - 422 times, “World” - 401, and “Politics” - 156. Significantly less news were found in such sections as “Economy”, “Sport” and “Opinion” (Figure 17).


Figure 17: Distribution of Ukraine issue materials according to the sections in the world media.

Among the the most widely spread genres an expanded article was often used - 1121, an article or its version adapted to the Internet media - multimedia history - 403, correspondence - 211.

In the content of the publications about Ukraine, the following topics were touched the most: the military conflict Ukraine- Russia (annexation of the Crimea, the socio-economic and humanitarian situation in the East of Ukraine, prisoners destiny, the trial of Nadia Savchenko); the political crisis and authorities corruption in the country; low living standards of Ukrainian citizens; Ukrainian sports and culture. Concerning local problems, one should mention Chernobyl tragedy. This issue is touched on by almost every edition, because in 2016 it had been 30 years since the explosion at the nuclear power station, which resulted in terrible consequences. The most debated cultural issue was the Eurovision Song Contest-2016, the victory of the singer from Ukraine Jamala with the song "1944".

The image of state head, high-ranking officials and politicians is important for the perception of the state in the international arena. Based on our analysis, we have outlined the rating of public figures that are most often mentioned in the context of Ukraine. Volodymyr Putin was mentioned the most often - in 1325 materials, Petro Poroshenko – in 926. Also were mentioned: Arseniy Yatseniuk - 652, Barack Obama - 610, Angela Merkel - 547 (Figure 18).


Figure 18: Rating of high-ranking officials according to Ukrainian issue materials in the world media.


The dynamics of the world globalization processes of the information epoch, the main factor of the state's success on the international arena, made its image, which was formed first of all, by mass media. Based on the methods of content analysis, analysis and synthesis, we studied the peculiarities of coverage of events in our country in each of the investigated media separately, which made it possible to draw the general conclusions. A thorough analysis of each newspaper gave us the opportunity to consider the nature of the presentation of information in various aspects.

In the process of studying the factual data and the emotional coloring of the content of the world media concerning the determination of the main tendencies of forming the image of Ukraine on the international arena, we came to the conclusion that the editorial policy in coverage of Ukrainian events in the media of Germany, USA, England and Russia is significantly different. First of all, the tendencies of the attitude towards Ukraine of the states, where a particular newspaper is presented, is reflected in the media content.

The analyzed German newspapers “Die Welt” and “Bild” affect Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Russia appears as an aggressor state that supports separatism and terrorism. Ukraine is assessed as neither being able to protect itself independently, nor having a stable political and economic system that could provide it with dynamic development. At the same time, Germany is positioned as a mighty, authoritative state, which is able to protect Ukraine from the aggressor, to provide it with support in any sphere.

The most important issues on the agenda of the American newspapers “The New York Times” and “New York Post” are the following Ukrainian topics: the role of the US in resolving the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Russia - an aggressive country that provokes hostilities in various parts of the world, as well as presses Ukraine in order to deteriorate its socio-economic status.

The military actions in the East of Ukraine, as well as cooperation with the IMF, offshores of the high-ranking officers, political and economic crises in Ukraine, are the main publications which draw the image of Ukraine in the English newspapers “Independent” and “The Guardian”. Showing the Russian Federation as an aggressor we do not find any loud accusations to its address on the pages of these publications. In general, English newspapers are the most restrained in their judgments and their position is closer to neutral.

The most cardinal interpretation of the events in Ukraine is given in the newspapers “Commersant” and the “Rosiiskaya Hazeta”. The characteristic feature for these media is an undeniable support and approval of the actions of the authorities and President V. Putin, a categorical denial of military aggression against Ukraine. The Crimea is determined as a federal district of the Russian Federation. The journalists clearly stand on the side of the policies of their own state and do not recognize it as the one that destabilizes the general situation in the world. According to this concept, the relevant facts are selected. Ukraine is positioned as the one that is waging war in Donbas against its people. In the Ukrainian authorities can be found a deep crisis, the economy practically does not function, therefore, there is a significant migration of citizens to Russia. The European Union and the United States manipulate Ukraine.

In general, as the content analysis has showed, Ukraine is represented on the international arena not in the best light. It is mostly considered to be in a crisis because of the conflict with Russia. Being in the undeclared war, it is a victim country that cannot solve its own problems without help of the influential states. Emphasizing the problems preventing Ukrainian people from successful development, building an independent, democratic state, the foreign media not only inform the world community and shape image of Ukraine and the nation, but also attract the attention of world community to events threating other peoples and caution them.


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