'Nazis' & 'Hypocrites': What Russia's saying on TV

Russian media hinting US leaders hypocrites
Russian media hinting US leaders hypocrites

If you want to know what the average Russian thinks about the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, a good place to start is the country's largely state-controlled news media.

Russian-language TV news monitored over the weekend by CNBC revealed two main themes about the crisis in Ukraine's Crimea that now threatens to spread to the rest of the country: Ukrainian protesters, commentators said, are radicals and neo-Nazis. And the Americans, along with their European allies, are hypocrites.

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"When even one citizen of the U.S. or Israel finds himself in a dangerous situation, everyone uses every power they have to save just that one person," Valentina Matviyenko, Russia's highest-ranking female politician, said on one broadcast. "In Crimea, more than 60 percent of the people are Russians, and these Russians and the leader of Crimea have asked for our help, and we can't be indifferent."

During Russian broadcaster NTV's special newscast about the situation in Ukraine, the anchor repeatedly referred to the "taking over of the Ukrainian government by radicals."

Monday's cover of Busy Petersburg, published in St. Petersburg, Russia. The cover reads, in part, "War Instead of Business."

The reporter also mentioned that during a Russian parliamentary session that voted unanimously Saturday to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea, several legislators discussed how they can't forget that the U.S. uses its might to protect its own people—even in the farthest reaches of the world.

"But for some reason, Russia's attempt to protect its own people has been received by many aggressive responses in the West," said the reporter.

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There were many references to fascism and "radicals from the West" both from reporters and interviewees.

Sen. Andrey Vorobyev, who called for the U.S. ambassador to Russia to be recalled and told the Russian people that President Barack Obama had "crossed a red line," said over the weekend that "Obama has deeply offended the Russian people."

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Newscasts monitored by CNBC carried no substantial level of opposing opinions and did not explore the legality of Russia's moves in Crimea or whether they're in the long-term interests of Russia.

—By CNBC's Dina Gusovsky. Follow her on Twitter at @DinaGusovsky.