Thursday, May 26, 2016

Anti-NATO Cartoons In Pro-Kremlin Russian Media

Anti-NATO Cartoons In Pro-Kremlin Russian Media

By: Elena Voinova*
NATO's eastward enlargement and the recent deployment of NATO's ballistic missile defense system in Eastern Europe has been a featured topic of anti-NATO cartoons in pro-Kremlin media outlets.[1] The following is a sampling of such cartoons published in Russia's government-funded news agencies, Sputniknews.com and Ria.ru, and on the social media accounts of pro-Kremlin activist groups, Studiya 13[2] and Sharzh I Pero.[3]
NATO As A Tool For The U.S. To Approach The Russian Border
 Vk.com/13studiya, Vitaly Podvitsky, May 4, 2016. 
The U.S. tries to scare NATO members with the "Russian Threat" in order to move close to the Russian border.
 Vk.com/13studiya, Vitaly Podvitsky, May 13, 2016.
U.S.' Eagle pointing at NATO bases in Europe: "My bases!"
Russian bear, sitting next to "Iskander" missile system: "My targets"
Vk.com/13studiya, Vitaly Podvitsky, May 4, 2016.
Uncle Sam, handing the keys to the tank to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg: "So, as you understand, my friend, the direction is eastward!"
On the road sign: Russia
In top right, former U.S. Secretary of State (1989-92) James Baker, who promised that NATO would not expand eastward: "NATO will not advance even one inch towards the east!"
Ria.ru, Vitaly Podvitsky, April 27, 2016.
The fearless and defiant Russian Bear messes up NATO's game, which is overseen by Uncle Sam.

Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
On the gun: "NATO"
On the grip: "U.S."
Cartoon by pro-Putin media outlet Sharzh I Pero, Cartoon published by Sharzh I Peroon April 4, 2016, the anniversary ofNATO's founding and the dateof NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's visit to the U.S.
NATO's Enlargement And Military Presence In Eastern Europe
Ria.ru,Vitaly Podvitsky, May 18, 2016.
NATO's ballistic defense system in Eastern Europe will backfire on NATO itself.
Vk.com/13studiya, May 15, 2016.
Russian bear to a Polish soldier standing atop crates of explosives near NATO ballistic missile defense system. Banner on crates: "Let's save Poland from Russian aggression!" Russian bear: "Hey, 'panowie' [gentlemen in Polish], I knew that Russophobia reduces the level of intelligence, but did not expect to that extent!"
 Vk.com/13studiya, May 12, 2016.
Aliens, watching NATO and Latvian soldiers try to hide military equipment: "Boring... Well, now wave to them with a Russian flag and throw a couple of packages of toilet paper"
 Vk.com/13studiya, Vitaly, May 4, 2016
New NATO chief military commander in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti: "[What do you mean,] I do not understand the Russians' concerns?! By promoting NATO forces in Eastern Europe, we are just seeking to get closer to them."
Ria.ru, Vitaly Podvitsky, April 29, 2016.
The Statue of Liberty is sinking in Europe. Russian bear: "You cannot miss it!". On the torch: "Missile defense system".
Ria.ruVitaly Podvitsky, April 19, 2016.
The Russian bear watches NATO's expansion on Russia's border. In the box next to him are Russia's past victories:1945 (the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany); 1812 (Napoleon's expulsion from Russia); 1242 (the Novgorod Republic's victory under Alexander Nevsky over the German and Estonian invaders in the Battle of the Ice).
 Sputniknews.com,Vitaly Podvitsky, March 31, 2016.
 NATO army arrives at the Russian border and cries: "The Threat! It's here!"
However, on Russia's side, there is only a man walking a dog.
U.S. Officials Are Pathetic People
Vk.com/13studiya, Vitaly Podvitsky, May 18, 2016
U.S. Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning portrayed dancing in stockings and wearing lipstick in front of a puzzled soldier. The Russian media mocks Fanning, the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service. In Russia, LGTB people face legal and social discrimination.

Vk.com/13studiya, Vitaly, May 6, 2016
New NATO chief military commander in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti loses his pants and exposes his pink feminine underwear: "NATO forces are ready to fight against Russia this very day. Ooops!"

Ria.ru, Vitaly Podvitsky, April 5, 2016.
While leaving his post as NATO chief military commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove tries to avoid the shadow of the Russian soldier.

NATO Portrayed As Agent Of Destruction
Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
Cartoon by pro-Putin media outlet Sharzh I Pero, published on April 4, 2016, NATO's 67th anniversary and the date of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's visit to the U.S. NATO is portrayed as a bearer of death.
 
Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
NATO portrayed as an aggressive military organization.
 Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
NATO is portrayed as a bearer of destruction, through bombings.
NATO's Military Operations As Mass-Killing Operations
Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
"Merciful angel" refers to a wrongly translated name of a NATO operation in Yugoslavia in 1999, "Noble Anvil". In Yugoslavia, the operation was incorrectly called "Merciful Angel", as a result of a mistranslation. The cartoon was published on April 4, NATO's anniversary and the day of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's visit to the U.S.
 Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
"The essential harvest" refers to a NATO Operation in Macedonia launched in 2001.

Sharzhipero.ru, April 4, 2016.
 "Achilles" was a NATO operation launched in 2007, as part of the war in Afghanistan. The cartoon was published on April 4, NATO's anniversary and the day of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's visit to the U.S.

*Elena Voinova is a research fellow at MEMRI

Endnotes: 
[2] Studiya 13 is a project of the "Young Guard," a youth movement of Russia's ruling party United Russia.
[3] For more cartoons, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 1243, Anti-U.S. Cartoons In Russia's Pro-Kremlin Media, April 25, 2016.

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