Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Natalia Avdonina (Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V.Lomonosov)

Mediatization of the War in Afghanistan: From Charging to Justifying

The USSR provided 'international assistance', meaning 'urgent political, material, financial, and military' help to the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from 1979 through 1989. It was a 'hidden war', as the Soviet journalist Artem Borovik said, until 1986, when glasnost and perestroika were acclaimed. Coverage of the war in Afghanistan was split up into two periods. The first one, until 1986, was characterized by keeping maximum information about Soviet soldiers fighting in Afghanistan under the strict censorship. After 1986 the Soviet mass media began publishing reports, and articles about the soldiers. The hidden war became open to the society.

In 1989, after nine months when the Soviet troops had been withdrawn from Afghanistan, the Council of People's Deputies made a decision on the moral and political assessment of the decision on sending troops to Afghanistan. Mass media began searching for those who had been guilty for making such a decision. After twenty six years as the war ended, Russian officials and state mass media have been searching for reasons to justify the decision on sending troops to Afghanistan.

Our research is based on Aristotle's theory of rhetoric. He pointed out to three types of rhetoric: deliberative, forensic, and epideictic rhetoric. Deliberative one is used to convince an audience to do or not to do something, and focuses on the future. Forensic is about the past, and about charging and justifying as well. Epideictic rhetoric is used to praise or blame, and focuses on the present. We analyze statements of the Russian officials published by the state mass media about the war in Afghanistan to find when rhetoric about the decision on sending troops switched from blaming to justifying, and what influenced on this.