the differences is that the Soviet closed media is a govt tool to tell the Russian world that everything is great and most certainly will not tell the truth if it damages the Soviet prestige.
In the UK and US (for most parts) there is a free press and the media in the UK find embarassing The Govt is a special interest, tells the truth for most parts with a little embellishments and Bad news sells more papers.
my friend went over (TA) and he mentions school , town , infrastructure rebuilding efforts and grateful people, which never gets a mention in the news at all.
however he does say it can be dangerous in certain areas and vigilance is needed at all times.
On one hand it is nice to see something other then road side attack information as there are other things occuring there; though this article has been "buttered" with the propaganda wheels in strong motion.