RUSSIA’S COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES ABOUT CRIMEA IN SPANISH-LANGUAGE SPUTNIK AND RUSSIA TIMES (2014-2018)

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Ludmila Gonzalez Cerulli
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9329-9336
Sybil Rhodes
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6797-1926

Abstract

We analyze Russia’s communication strategies in the period leading up to and following the seizure (2014-2018) of the Crimean Peninsula in the Spanish editions of its digital platforms, Sputnik and Russia Times. Drawing from theories of political communication, we show how Russia used storytelling and framing to build an international image and political brand consistent with, and try to justify, its foreign policy actions. Specifically, Russian messages transmit no room for doubt about the legality of any of its strategies in Crimea. We argue that this communication strategy is consistent with the concept of ‘sharp power’ to describe Russian projection in the world. Cultural and emotional appeals designed to generate positive emotions about Russia, i.e., ‘soft power’, were far less common. In recent years, Russian projection of sharp power appears to have increased in the Spanish-speaking world, particularly in South America. In addition to helping explain Russian foreign policy, our findings contribute to broader debates about political branding and truth in a ‘post-truth’, multipolar world.     

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How to Cite
Cerulli, Ludmila Gonzalez, and Sybil Rhodes. 2022. “RUSSIA’S COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES ABOUT CRIMEA IN SPANISH-LANGUAGE SPUTNIK AND RUSSIA TIMES (2014-2018)”. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 8 (3):257-71. https://doi.org/10.47305/JLIA2283257c.
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Author Biographies

Ludmila Gonzalez Cerulli, Universidad del CEMA - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ludmila Gonzalez Cerulli is a journalist who specializes in International Relations. She holds an MA in International Studies (UCEMA) and a Bachelor of Journalism (USAL). She coordinates the Institutional Development department at Belgrano Day School and she writes for the ItaliaArgentina magazine of the Italian Consulate in BA. Previously, she was in the Communication and Press team at Chequeado (2021-2022), was in charge of institutional communication at Universidad del Salvador (2017-2021), and joined a research project at CADAL about the soft power of China and Russia in Latin America and also in Argentina (2016-2018).

Sybil Rhodes, Universidad del CEMA - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sybil Rhodes (PhD in Political Science, Stanford University, 2002) is chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Universidad del CEMA in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also serves as President of the Center for Openness and Development in Latin America (CADAL) in the same city. Her areas of expertise include the politics of international public policy and multilateral cooperation, particularly in the policy arenas of migration, infrastructure, and economic regulation. She is the author of Social Movements and Free-Market Capitalism in Latin America (State University of New York Press).