Constructing Russian identity in news translation
The case of the Crimean crisis
In the build-up to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia’s state-owned media pushed a nationalist-imperialist narrative according to which Crimea is ethnically and historically Russian, and should, therefore, return to the Russian Motherland. This article underscores the critical role of news translation in the debate around the status of Crimea and in the circulation of global news, more generally. It focuses on the Russian website InoSMI, a portal that monitors and translates foreign press, during the peak of the Crimea crisis. Our analysis reveals that Russian translations reframe Western reports in such a way as to over-emphasize ties between Russia and Crimea. Drawing on both ethnonationalist and imperialist narratives that capitalize on the place Crimea holds in Russian imagination, and exploiting old metaphors of brotherhood, InoSMI promotes specific definitions of Russian space and identity that legitimize an aggressive foreign policy.
Keywords: Greater Russia, nationalism, imperialism, InoSMI, ideology, news translation
Published online: 06 November 2020
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