The paper presents the results of using the cognitive mapping method to analyze the messages from video bloggers which were popular among Russian youth and covered protest actions in Russia in 2019-2020. The cognitive mapping method has not previously been used to interpret the information messages of representatives of the protest movement in modern Russia. The objective of the study is to identify the value systems, priorities, individual logical chains of opinion leaders in the Russian language segment of YouTube video hosting. The research sample was based on a two-step model, including the selection of 20 video bloggers who are considered to be the most popular among Russian protest youth as well as the selection of information materials for further analysis. For each leader of public opinion, several cognitive maps were built regarding the coverage of protest actions in 3 cases (the protests in Yekaterinburg in 2019, in Moscow after the Moscow City Duma elections in 2019 and in Khabarovsk in 2020). The cognitive mapping method made it possible to analyze the perception and interpretation of the protest actions taken by public opinion leaders who are opposed to the ruling party. The results of cognitive mapping reveal the value systems of the interpreters of political events who are popular among young people. The system of values, expressed in the interpretation of protest actions, presupposes the dominance of liberal guidelines, ideas of the rule of law and civil society.
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