IIR in the media: Analyzing world events

The crisis in Ukraine has continued to be the focal point of our researchers’ analyses and commentaries in the media. But despite the importance of the crisis, there have been other themes that our researchers focused on. Above all, these included the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, the situation in Egypt and the 15th anniversary of the Czech membership in NATO.

In Studio 24 Michal Kořan expressed his sympathy for the theory that the Russian actions in Crimea stem from Russia's previous failure to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence. The strategy to change this through its intervention does not prove to be successful considering the anticipated signature of the political part of the association agreement.

The crisis in Ukraine led to a recent meeting between John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov. Michal Kořan, in an interview in Studio 24, considered the Russian pressure on Ukraine and the West as a tool used by Russia to obtain the federalization of Ukraine and integrate its autonomous part in its own integration projects. He also addressed the necessity to make sure that important decisions such as the prospective federalization of Ukraine are accepted by the legitimate government based on the May elections.

Petr Kratochvíl contributed to EurActiv with his statements regarding common myths surrounding the Russian intervention in Crimea. From his point of view Russia is promoting the idea that Ukraine has been governed by fascists and Banderists. According to Kratochvíl, Russia endeavours to classify its action as a humanitarian intervention.

Vít Beneš addressed the issue of sanctions and the strong predictability of the steps taken by the EU and the USA, which can actually make Russia stronger by giving it enough space to take countermeasures. Beneš also sees no point in isolating Russia and warns against nationalism. In his view, Russia itself has resorted to a foreign policy profiled by ethnicity and nationality.

Petr Kratochvíl focused on the art of the propaganda of the Russian media channels and stressed its omnipresence. He supports his arguments on the influence of propaganda by providing multiple examples.

But it was not only the situation in Ukraine that called forth the attention of the media.

Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň commented on the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide by focusing also on the current improvements Rwanda has been undergoing and the perception of the genocide in today’s Rwanda. Among other things, he argued that the tabooization of the genocide issue can, to an extent, diminish the tensions.

The rise of the extreme right is one of the current issues being dealt with across Europe. In Horizont ČT24 Jan Eichler mentioned the traditional role of the extreme right in French politics and their strategy of conquering the town halls of small towns first. He also pointed out that this phenomenon would not ruin the EU but it could have some destabilizing effects. In his view, one of the solutions lies in improving bad governance and/or economic problems, which are themes that are used by extreme right parties when they argue for their cause.

In his recent article Tomáš Profant argued that the role of language (e.g. in films) is of great importance when it comes to building stereotypes. Such stereotypes, which are built upon the portrayals of a particular race or minority, have further influence not only on our neighbourhood, but also on domestic and foreign policy. Therefore the use of self-censorship concerning depictions of different minorities has an important role in preventing prejudice.

One of the topics during the recent encounter between the Chinese president Xi Jinping and his EU counterpart J.M. Barroso was the negotiation concerning an investment treaty. In Studio 24 Rudolf Fürst pointed out that the fact that the European Union is the primary business partner for China plays an important role in considering the treaty. On the other hand, though, the EU might call for some relief in regard to the immense bureaucracy and other obstacles that European businesses have to face in China. He also highlighted that human rights issues will not be an impediment to the possible negotiations.

Petr Kratochvíl provided his commentary on the speech made by Miloš Zeman on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s adhesion to NATO.

Michal Brtnický, in his article published in Právo, analyzes the situation in Egypt three years after the fall of Mubárak’s regime. http://iir.cz//article/egypt-tri-roky-po-padu-mubaraka