After the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine, the stories of the Russian TV channels about Zelensky were not as laudatory as before the first round.
The Russian edition “Proekt” (The Project) reported citing a source in the Kremlin that the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the central TV channels “not praise too much” the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the source, on Russian television there were stories that were “too laudatory” and the Kremlin drew attention to this.
It was not reported when the TV channels were provided with these instructions but the journalists of “Proekt” found a period when the attitude towards Zelensky had changed by analyzing the latest programs on Russian channels.
For example, on April 14, in the period between the first and second rounds of the presidential elections in Ukraine, in the program “News of the Week” on the TV channel “Russia 1” Dmitry Kiselev spoke very positively about Zelensky, however, on April 21, the day of the second round of presidential elections, he was more restrained in his statements. A similar change of rhetoric, journalists noticed in the program “Time” on the “First Channel”. In particular, the author of one of the reports noted that in Zelensky’s rhetoric there is “little concreteness”.
The interlocutors of the newspaper explained that the Kremlin did not yet understand what to expect from the future president of Ukraine, so for now, they decided not to praise or scold him. That is why Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov were very careful in their statements.
“No one expects that relations with Ukraine will improve dramatically with the arrival of Zelensky,” the publication quoted his interlocutor who is close to the Kremlin.