Russian media are less likely to mention Ukraine or the USA in a hostile context and have directed their attention towards Turkey, according to research from Medialogia, a media analysis firm.
Ukraine had been leading the number of negative reports in the Russian media for 9 months. The country was one and-a-half times more likely to be mentioned in a hostile context than the USA.
Negativity against the Ukrainian leadership began to decline after the country's presidential elections took place in 2014. Towards the close of 2015, Russian media have ceased calling the Ukrainian government “illegitimate” and “self-appointed.” Moreover, the word “fascists” has almost disappeared from reports, which had previously been used in reference to Ukraine.
A surge of reports featuring Turkey in a negative context began after the Turkish air force shot down a Russian jet fighter on November 24, 2015. The number of mentions of Turkey in relation to terrorism has increased from 20 times to more than 150 times a week. Turkey is referred to as “a sponsor of ISIL,” a term previously reserved for the USA.
No special instructions regarding Turkey have been sent down to us, says an employee at a federal television channel. Coverage has oriented itself around Putin's statements. Immediately after downing of the Russian jet fighter, the President called Turkey's actions a “stab in the back,” and the expression was quickly picked up by the blogosphere.
Russian authorities believe that Turkey has joint business interests with the terrorist group “Islamic State,” otherwise known as ISIL. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied this.