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Issue № 88. October 2021

Information War as a Political Challenge of Postmodernity (Based on the 1999 Parliamentary Elections)

Evgeny I. Volgin

PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of History, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation. 
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9690-448X

The 1999 parliamentary elections were remembered for the unprecedented discrediting of well-known candidates who dared to challenge the “Kremlin party”. The most striking example of “information bacchanalia” was Sergei Dorenko’s author’s TV program, which was aimed at discrediting the leaders (E. Primakov and Y. Luzhkov) of the electoral association “Otechestvo — Vsya Rossiya”. Almost every researcher studying the elections to the Third Duma cannot ignore this scandalous television project. At the same time, the “Dorenko phenomenon” as an important information and political factor of the 1999 elections has not yet received a deep and comprehensive understanding. The authors generally limit themselves to mentioning the most brilliant moments of the well-known “election series”, while pointing out the inadmissibility of the techniques and methods used by the well-known “telekiller”. At the same time, it remains unclear why the “Program of Sergei Dorenko” produced such a strong political effect, which surpassed the agitation and propaganda efforts of almost all political parties. It is hardly possible to explain this phenomenon only by the “talent” of the program host, who masterfully used the art of “black PR”, without immersion in the ontological essence of the well-known media strategy. The aim of the article is to analyze “Program of Sergei Dorenko” as a kind of media game, which was played in the coordinates of the socio-cultural paradigm of postmodernity. The essence of this game remained unclear for opponents and contemporaries considering this project only as “mediamurder” and “war of compromising materials”. A new reading of this topic became possible due to the intensive development of modern information and communication practices and media discourse in recent years.


S.L. Dorenko, E.M. Primakov, Yu.M. Luzhkov, A.A. Veshnyakov, elections, information war, postmodernity.

DOI: 10.24412/2070-1381-2021-88-104-118

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