If you’re a Russian watching TV coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, you’ll hear that the protesters are radicals and the Americans are hypocrites.
Russian-language TV news monitored over the weekend by CNBC revealed two main themes about the crisis in Ukraine's Crimea that now threatens to spread to the rest of the country: Ukrainian protesters, commentators said, are radicals and neo-Nazis. And Americans, along with their European allies, are hypocrites.
"When even one citizen of the U.S. or Israel finds himself in a dangerous situation, everyone uses every power they have to save just that one person," Valentina Matviyenko, Russia's highest-ranking female politician, said on one broadcast. "In Crimea, more than 60 percent of the people are Russians, and these Russians and the leader of Crimea have asked for our help, and we can't be indifferent."
During Russian broadcaster NTV's special newscast about the situation in Ukraine, the anchor repeatedly referred to the "taking over of the Ukrainian government by radicals."
The reporter also mentioned that during a Russian parliamentary session that voted unanimously Saturday to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea, several legislators discussed how they can't forget that the U.S. uses its might to protect its own people — even in the farthest reaches of the world.
"But for some reason, Russia's attempt to protect its own people has been received by many aggressive responses in the West," said the reporter.
There were many references to fascism and "radicals from the West" both from reporters and interviewees.
Newscasts monitored by CNBC carried no substantial level of opposing opinions and did not explore the legality of Russia's moves in Crimea or whether they're in the long-term interests of Russia.