Manipulating the image of ‘Kyiv Rus’ in English-language publications of Russia Today (RT) media resource

Moiseienko O. Yu., Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6262-9678
Mazin D. M., Candidate of Philological Sciences (PhD),
Associate Professor
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv)
ORCID ID:0000-0002-1487-269X


The article presents the results of the first analysis of linguistics strategies in representing and manipulating with the image of the medieval state “Kyivan Rus” in English-language publications of the Russia Today (RT), a multilingual Russian media resource propagating ideological views of the contemporary Russian state. The claims of the neoimperial Russian iscourse to exert an exclusive historical and political right over the ancient state of Kyivan Rus has been revealed. The application of the relevant media frames helped to identify linguistic and rhetorical tools aimed at building the planned ideology and ruling the reception of non-critical readers. The conducted analysis of the narratives based on the main contexts of using the image of “Kyivan Rus” in RT-publications helped to discover the list of the basic language strategies of manipulation with historical concepts, in particular the strategies of attacking and insulting the opponent, argumentum ad authority, dominating close-ended questions, or imposing forged relations between the signifier and its far-fetched interpretation. The context of the contemporary Russia and the context of the contemporary Ukraine were distinguished in the RT’s publications on Kyivan Rus. The research analysis confirms a targeted use of rhetorical tools by Russain media in order to voluntarily disrupt the historical discourse for neo-imperial objectives. The implemented study has also helped to clarify the immense difficulty of the Russian ideologists to prove their unique possessive legacy over the Kyivan Rus state, which is the direct predecessor of the Ukrainian state. The latter explains the aggressive and abusive nature of the publications in the Russia Today, undoubtedly oriented at non-critical readers. Further analysis of other English-language media messages will be useful to deepen the understanding of the exploited linguistic and rhetorical strategies in the contemporary ideological and political discourse.

Key words: Kyivan Rus, media frames, narratives, language strategies,
Russia Today.