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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Prigozhin And Coup-Related News Are Vanishing From Russian TV

After relatively in-depth coverage beginning last weekend, Russian state-owned TV channels have suddenly stopped reporting on the consequences of the Wagner mutiny.

Long shot of Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of forum organized by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives on June 29, 2023


The Wagner Group insurrection, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, continues to captivate the attention of Western and Russian independent media. The whereabouts of Prigozhin are being talked about, the status of top Russian general Sergey Surovikin is analyzed, after reports that he may have had prior knowledge of Wagner’s plans, and may even be under arrest.

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Earlier this week, the rebellion was also still getting plenty of attention on established Russian media, with coverage of Russian President Vladimir Putin's televised addresses on Saturday and Monday, where he expressed gratitude to the Russians for their “patriotism” after the Wagnerites aborted their march on Moscow.

But as the week draws to a close, Russian state media has been progressively removing any mention of the Wagner mutiny, as the Kremlin apparently seeks to close the door on public debate of the past six tumultuous days, the latest signs of ever tightening control over the levers of information.

Selfies with Vlad

Both Wednesday and Thursday night's newscasts on Russian flagship television channels, Russia 1, made no mention of the mutiny. Instead, the journalists reported on Putin's visit to the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) forum and his appearance before a crowd during his visit to the coastal city of Derbent the day before. The journalists showed a girl who took selfies with Putin and another girl crying because she didn't manage to see the president up close.

It's an event of bygone days.

The state-owned Perviy Kanal (Channel One) also focused solely on Putin's trip to Derbent and the ASI forum as the main subjects of discussion. The evening edition of the Vremya program started by highlighting "the most discussed thing right now: Vladimir Putin's communication with hundreds of residents and guests of Derbent."

The mutiny received brief coverage during a segment on Putin's ASI forum visit, including an interview with Rostov Governor Vasily Golubev and a statement from ASI head Svetlana Chupsheva. But the segment was brief, concluding with the reporter declaring: "And yet the mutiny is an event of bygone days."

Putin doodling

Putin doodling

Putin draws on an interactive whiteboard during forum organized by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives on June 29, 2023

Gavriil Grigorov/TASS/ZUMA

Channel One did not mention the mutiny at all the day before. In the daytime newscasts on Thursday, Channel One showed excerpts from statements by State Duma member Andrey Kartapolov and the head of the Republic of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov both telling Putin that "everyone in the region" supported the decisions made on June 24, when the insurrection was under way.

Putin himself has also practically stopped talking about the uprising. In the past two days, he only touched on the subject twice, and both times in response to what his interlocutors had to say.

On Thursday, Russian daily newspaper Kommersantpublished a video of the Russian President doodling on an interactive board during the ASI forum. Putin drew a two-dimensional sketch of a man's face — and we can only wonder who he was thinking of.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Settlers, Prisoners, Resistance: How Israeli Occupation Ties Gaza To The West Bank

The fate of the West Bank is inevitably linked to the conflict in Gaza; and indeed Israeli crackdowns and settler expansion and violence in the West Bank is a sign of an explicit strategy.

Settlers, Prisoners, Resistance: How Israeli Occupation Ties Gaza To The West Bank

Israeli soldiers take their positions during a military operation in the Balata refugee camp, West Bank.

Riham Al Maqdama


CAIRO — Since “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” began on October 7, the question has been asked: What will happen in the West Bank?

A review of Israel’s positions and rhetoric since 1967 has always referred to the Gaza Strip as a “problem,” while the West Bank was the “opportunity,” so that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to withdraw Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005 was even referred to as an attempt to invest state resources in Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank.

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This separation between Gaza and the West Bank in the military and political doctrine of the occupation creates major challenges, repercussions of which have intensified over the last three years.

Settlement expansion in the West Bank and the continued restrictions of the occupation there constitute the “land” and Gaza is the “siege” of the challenge Palestinians face. The opposition to the West Bank expansion is inseparable from the resistance in Gaza, including those who are in Israeli prisons, and some who have turned to take up arms through new resistance groups.

“What happened in Gaza is never separated from the West Bank, but is related to it in cause and effect,” said Ahmed Azem, professor of international relations at Qatar University. “The name of the October 7 operation is the Al-Aqsa Flood, referring to what is happening in Jerusalem, which is part of the West Bank.”

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