Suitcase – shelling – Russia’: narratives about refugees from Ukraine in Russian media.
The armed conflict in South-East Ukraine has brought a massive increase in refugees in the Russian Federation. This article examines the meaning-making process surrounding the sudden presence of these refugees, through analysis of narratives in three major national newspapers – Izvestiya, Novaya gazeta and Rossiiskaya gazeta –1 June – 30 September 2014. Three thematic groups of narratives predominated: about war, about refugee reception and aid, and about Russia in international relations. These give meaning to the subject-position “refugees from Ukraine” primarily as war victims and aid recipients.