Disinfo: The U.S. Agency for Global Media systematically spreads disinformation

Summary

The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), known for its Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe project, systematically spreads disinformation.

Disproof

No evidence is provided to support the accusation that USAGM and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty spread disinformation. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aimed at discrediting Western media and journalists that expose and counter pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation by claiming they are Russophobic and spreading disinformation.

The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), formerly the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), is an independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media. In addition to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), it includes Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, and Radio Sawa.

RFE/RL journalists report news in 22 countries where a free press is either banned by the government or not fully established. It provides a service that many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussions and open debate. One of the radios’ most successful projects is Current Time, a 24/7 television network in Russian. It was launched in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea and the start of the war in eastern Ukraine. It is an alternative to Kremlin-controlled media. There are some 300 million Russian-speakers in the world, and Current Time goes wherever they are. This includes the Baltics, Moldova, Georgia, Central Asia and even Israel (where 1.5 million people speak Russian).

Read similar cases claiming that the German media and NATO portray Russia as an enemy and that Buzzfeed hires Russophobic journalists, spreads false information and incites hatred.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 180
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/01/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: Mainstream media, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
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Suspension of Sputnik Estonia is censorship

Residents of Estonia decided that the suspension of Sputnik is censorship. These were viewers who watched a discussion program on the Estonian TV channel ETV+ on sanctions against the agency. Political and economic sanctions against journalists are censorship.

Disproof

Estonia is on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website and it is accessible. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted."

The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya. According to the articles of association of the company, the Director-General has the right to decide upon opening bank accounts and carry out invoicing. This corresponds to the condition "having the right to use all or part of the assets of a legal person or entity" in the EU Best Practices for the effective implementation of restrictive measures.

The EU intentionally destroyed economies of the Baltic states

The Baltic states are facing demographic catastrophe because its youth emigrated. This happened as a result of the EU’s deliberate destruction of the Baltic states’ economies.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory and propagandistic claim aimed at discrediting the EU and its economic policies and to ridicule the Baltic states by exacerbating the demographic decline that they face. In fact, many other eastern European countries experience a population decline, including Russia.

Economies of the Baltic states during their EU membership grew at a much higher rate than Eurozone economies. Although the GDP per capita in the Baltic states remains below the EU average, it has been rapidly approaching the average. For instance, this indicator for Estonia stood at 54% when the country joined the EU and increased to 77% by 2017. The economic situation of all three Baltic states is rather positive and demonstrates one of the leading economic growth indicators in the EU. The dynamics within the last years can be seen here.

Foreign espionage could be to blame for Iran downing flight PS752

Foreign espionage might be to blame for Iran downing flight PS752. Today, there is a new angle about the recent tragedy that occurred in Iran (downing of the Ukrainian plane PS752): it may have been caused by the fact that someone intercepted the signal and gave a signal to the operator (Iranian base) to act differently.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the downing of the Ukrainian flight PS 752.

The Iranian authorities initially denied responsibility but the Revolutionary Guard admitted that the plane had been mistaken for a "cruise missile" during heightened tensions with the US.