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EU Council bans Russia’s RIA Novosti, Izvestia, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, and Medvedchuk’s Voice of Europe

The EU has banned four Kremlin-linked media outlets from broadcasting in the bloc – RIA Novosti, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Izvestia, Voice of Europe – for spreading propaganda supporting Moscow’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
eu council bans russias ria novosti izvestia rossiyskaya gazeta medvedchuks voice europe office moscow via azernewsaz
RIA Novosti office in Moscow. Photo via azernews.az
EU Council bans Russia’s RIA Novosti, Izvestia, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, and Medvedchuk’s Voice of Europe

The Council of the European Union has decided to “suspend the broadcasting activities” in the EU of four additional media outlets, spreading Russian propaganda – Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta, according to the Council’s press release published on 17 May 2024.

  • RIA Novosti is a Russian state-owned domestic news agency, run by the Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) media group owned and operated by the Russian government.
  • Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta are daily Russian newspapers. The Izvestia has been sanctioned by Canada since last November. The Rossiyskaya Gazeta is an official government gazette.
  • Voice of Europe was an EU-based Czech-registered news site funded by Putin’s crony, Viktor Medvedchuk. In March, Czech intelligence services said the outlet was used to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda and bribe EU politicians at the direction of Medvedchuk. Later, Slovakia granted temporary protection to Artem Marchevskyi who oversaw the Voice of Europe’s operations.

All four outlets are engaged in disseminating official Russian state propaganda.

These outlets are “under the permanent direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation,” the EU Council stated, adding that they are essential and instrumental in bringing forward and supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and for the destabilization of its neighboring countries.

While the measures do not prevent non-broadcasting activities like research and interviews within the EU, the press release notes the outlets have engaged in a “systematic, international campaign of media and information manipulation, interference and grave distortion of facts” to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The propaganda has “repeatedly and consistently targeted the Ukrainian state and its authorities, Ukrainian citizens, as well as the European political parties, especially during election periods, as well as targeting civil society, asylum seekers, Russian ethnic minorities, gender minorities, and the functioning of democratic institutions in the EU and its member states,” the Council press release stated.

In March 2024 conclusions, the European Council “reaffirmed the EU’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “called for further steps to weaken Russia’s ability to continue waging its war of aggression, including by strengthening sanctions,” according to the release.

Back in early March 2022, the EU Council banned the Russian propaganda outlets RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik in the EU.

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