Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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This is how Russian TV reacted to "Navalny" Oscar win

A movie about the poisoning of a Russian opposition leader won an Oscar Sunday night, but Russian TV seems to have barely reacted.

Navalny was named the best documentary feature at the Academy Awards. The HBO Max documentary explores the events surrounding the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Putin and the Kremlin. After recovering, Navalny, who is now in a Russian prison, blamed his poisoning on Putin.

Navalny has now been honored with an Oscar, a Critics Choice Award and a BAFTA award in the UK, but it appears that Sunday night’s win is going unreported in his country. Various reports seen by Newsweek on messaging app Telegram suggest that Russia’s state media have not mentioned the Academy Awards at all.

Sirena (Siren) and Agentstvo (the Agency) both highlighted on Telegram what was mentioned in the morning reports on Russian news outlets.

A Russian investigative outlet, Agentstvo said, “Channel One, Russia 1 and NTV did not mention the Oscar ceremony in their morning broadcasts today.”

According to Sirena, when Navalny won other awards earlier this year, Russian state media failed to report that too.

Agentstvo wrote, “The Oscars were not talked about in the news releases that aired every half an hour on Channel One and Russia 1 in the morning shows. Their main topics were: another shelling in Donetsk, protests in Israel and Moldova, floods in the Saratov region, snowfall in Primorye, the return of Russian children from Syria and the investigation of sabotage at Nord Stream.

NTV dedicated its entertainment news segment to the “anniversary of Sharon Stone,” according to the Agency. Her birthday was on March 10.

Some Russian online outlets mentioned the Oscars, but they buried a mention of Navalny’s win at the bottom of their articles.

Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent during a flight in August 2020. He eventually recovered in a hospital in Berlin. After returning to Russia in January 2021, he was immediately detained and accused of violating his parole conditions while he was recovering in Germany. He was later sentenced to two and a half years’ detention. In March 2022, he was found guilty of embezzlement and contempt of court, receiving a further nine years to his sentence.

The opposition leader, lawyer and anti-corruption activist is widely known in Russia and abroad for his criticisms of Russia’s president.

When the team is behind Navalny accepted the Oscar, Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, also spoke.

“My husband is in prison just for telling the truth,” she said alongside the filmmakers. “My husband is in prison just for defending democracy. Alexei, I’m dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.”

Despite Navalny’s imprisonment, the Twitter account under his name still regularly tweets to his 2.9 million followers. The account reacted to the news of the documentary’s win by retweeting a number of posts relating to the Oscars.

A retweeted message apparently from his daughter, Dasha Navalnaya, said, “We just won an Oscar. Dad, this is for you.”

A picture showed Dasha together with her mother and her brother, Zahar.

A movie about the poisoning of a Russian opposition leader won an Oscar Sunday night, but Russian TV seems to have barely reacted.

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