United Russia politician Viktor Vodolatskiy has announced plans to launch a government-funded patriotic television channel for young Russians. The idea has gained considerable support from members of the presidential commission for the patriotic, spiritual and moral upbringing of children. Vodolatskiy told Izvestia that the channel is necessary to counterbalance the corrupting influence of today’s television and to promote patriotic values in young people.

“Nowadays television, the internet and social networks all advocate violence and neo-Nazism, and we don’t have a single united resource which cultivates positive emotions, educates viewers on true human values and supports a patriotic upbringing. That’s why we need a youth TV channel which will have exactly this content,” Vodolatskiy told Izvestia.

The MP slammed modern technology for manipulating young people, noting that by being “the most dynamic and passionate part of society”, Russia’s youth are most susceptible to being swayed by the media. He added that around 90% of ethnic and religious conflicts, political protests and protest movements are mostly made up of young people, who as well as being vulnerable to the negative effects of information wars, as well as drug addition, alcoholism and crime.  

Vodolatskiy has said that the new channel will feature youth talk shows, education programmes, news and other shows, aiming to target the 30% of the Russian population that falls under the youth category.

While the suggested budget for the new channel has not been disclosed, the creation of a similar project — the state-sponsored news channel ORT (Public Russian Television), which launched in 2013 — cost around 1.5 million roubles ($37m) of state funding each year.

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