In the Baltic States began to suspect that favorite kids Russian cartoon “Masha and the bear” is part of the hybrid war waged by Russia.
In the animated series a huge good-natured bear have all the time to get out of difficult situations, which creates a little girl with big eyes named Masha. Usually bear much goes before all again falls into place.
What if the bear is not a bear, and Russia?
“In Estonia, the bear symbolizes Russia. It’s a fact,” says lecturer of the Institute of communication of Tallinn University Priit of Cyberage (Priit Hõbemägi).
Heamagi watched this cartoon with my kids hundreds of times. His show was started in 2009. Pretty quickly Heamagi came to the conclusion that it is about the use of Russian “soft power”.
“It is a struggle for the minds, part of a hybrid exposure in which a negative image of Russia is replaced by the positive. The message to Russia is taken without filters. Russia is a wonderful country, where you live Masha and the Bear,” he says.
What’s wrong is that kids will see Russia without the ballast of history and the recent past?
“The fact that Russia is trying to undermine the foundations of Estonia. The imposition of the children a positive image of Russia is dangerous to the security of Estonia. If Russia was friendly, everything would be fine,” says Cyberage.
Cartoon series that last for a few minutes, there is in Youtube. There you can see what kind of effect it is.
In the twelfth of a series of “Border on the lock” Masha guards the garden of the Bear. Hare wants to get into the garden from behind the fence and steal a carrot.
Imagine that the Bear together with his yard — Russia, and the Hare is a foreign spy.
The bear (Russia) puts on the head of Masha (border guards) Soviet border guard’s cap with a red star. Hare (foreigner) steals the Bear (Russia) carrots. The bear (Russia) does not offend the little ones, he only wants him to have had a good yield.
In the end, the house of the Bear (Russia) is in complete disarray, the whole garden was dug up, because Mary (the guard) in the cap with the red star chasing the Rabbit (a foreigner).
Despite the possible symbolic associations, the cartoon is hard to blame the arrogance of Russia. There are other bears in children’s stories — for example, clumsy and good-natured Winnie the Pooh.
“Winnie the Pooh came from a different cultural region,” says Cyberage.
Estonian Internet project Propastop that specializiruetsya on the information effect, confirmed this week that for the countries that were part of the former Soviet Union, the cartoon “Masha and the bear” has a completely different meaning than in other countries.
“My own experience tells me that we are talking about manipulation, propaganda, brainwashing. All this just gave a beautiful shape,” says grew up in Estonia during the Soviet occupation of Cyberage.
The Deputy of the Parliament of Lithuania Laurynas Kasciunas (Laurynas Kasčiūnas) believes the success of the cartoon “Masha and Bear” part of the informational influence of Russia. He considered this question in an article published last year on the news portal DELFI.
Russia has already rushed to defend the cartoon. For example, the news channel RT has called “idiots” professionals who believe cartoons ideological impact.
According to Heamagi, the animated series shows the “Russian world”, in which a great power shift from intended for her position and she should regain its former luster. It’s hard to tell if it was done on purpose.
The Creator of the cartoon “Masha and the Bear” Oleg Kuzovkova these suspicions might surprise. Last year, he said in an interview with The Associated Press that he was surprised that watching TV series in 120 countries.
“He started with the project, which was intended for the Russian public. The rhythm, method of installation and the picture quality of such products of the American cinema,” he notes.
Now on the cartoon employs 70 people in the suburbs of Moscow. The images of him taken from my childhood Kuzovkina.
However, even Heamagi not think the series is so dangerous to stop watching it with your children.