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EU bans RT

February 28, 2022

By Chris Forrester

The EU has banned the Russian-backed RT television channel, and the Sputnik news agency.

RT, the former Russia Today, and the Sputnik outlets are seen as blatant propaganda machines.

RT operates several language-specific TV channels while Sputnik supplies news websites in 31 languages. RT broadcasts in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, German and Russian. Germany banned RT’s German-language service earlier in February. The channel is already banned in Ukraine.

RT is distributed on about 22 satellites and claims a reach of a potential 700 million people.

However, the EU decision does not currently apply to the UK version of RT. A decision on this is being studied by UK regulator Ofcom. Sources say that one of Ofcom’s anxieties is that an action against RT would lead to action against the BBC in Moscow.

RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, is on the UK’s sanctions list of Russians. She is also on the EU list of 193 people and 48 businesses now blacklisted.

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