The message of the new channel is that Russia should enjoy special privileges and rights given its status as a superpower " />

New Russian TV channel dedicated to country’s main role in ending WWII

The message of the new channel is that Russia should enjoy special privileges and rights given its status as a superpower

Parade on Red Square in Moscow on Victory Day. 9 May 2018 REUTERS / Maxim Shipenkov

A new TV channel will appear in Russia by the 75th anniversary of WWII – 9 May 2019.

The channel, called Pobeda [Rus. Victory], will be dedicated exclusively to the achievements of the Soviet army during World War II and promote the idea of the main role of the Soviet Union and Russia in the victory against fascism.

• Former USSR commemorates the 13 million victims of Stalinist political repression

• What is the so-called Russian world really? Three short films

The channel will be available by cable and satellite networks throughout Russia and abroad.

Why does the Russian leadership need this channel? 

There is no lack of information about World War Two on Russian TV channels.

The administrators of channel Victory say that World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it is commonly called in Russia, produced so many fiction and documentary materials that the currently existing channels do not have time to show them.

However, a cursory examination of Russian TV channels would hardly leave one grounds to confirm this hypothesis, and contemporary films about the war are continuously being added to the films of the past.

The topic of World War Two is extremely important for Russian propaganda, and perpetuates the idea that Russia is a superpower and thus has special rights, primarily in relation to its neighboring countries.

In addition to the ongoing daily promulgation of this idea on Russian television, this message is fixed in the public’s consciousness with the help of other traditions, such as the Immortal Regiment – every year on Victory Day (9 May), people in Russia and several other post-Soviet countries hold processions holding portraits of their relatives killed in the war.

This tradition began as a sincere initiative, but it was quickly picked up by the state apparatus and turned into an official ideological event, in which participation became mandatory for government employees.

A large-scale military parade dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the blockade of Leningrad, one of the key events of World War II, took place in St Petersburg the other day.

The media and many social media users criticized the authorities for the fact that they should have spent this money to help people who survived the blockade.

Journalists write that Germany, for example, allocated 12 million euros to repair a hospital for veterans in St Petersburg in memory of the date.

What does Russian propaganda fail to mention?

There are several topics related to WWII which in Russia are never present on television:

• Allied relations between Stalin and Hitler until 22 June 1941.

• The coordinated aggression of Germany and the USSR against Poland and the Baltic countries.

• Tens and millions of deaths on the Soviet side (the exact figure is still unknown) due to the mistakes and ruthlessness of the Soviet command.

• Tens of millions of Soviet prisoners of war who, when they returned home, were sent to the gulags “for treason”.

• The fact that victory in World War II was achieved by the efforts and sacrifices of all the republics and peoples of the USSR, and not just Russians.

More on JAMnews