Russia says European anti-propoganda channel to interfere in its freedom of speech
Russia is against proposals by the European Union and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to create a Russian-language channel to counter Russian propaganda, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said on Monday, according to Russian news agency TASS.
"Russia always had positive attitude towards freedom of speech. But the concept of a counterpropaganda channel does not conform to this freedom," he said.
Meanwhile Russia, which is 148th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders Freedom of Speech ranking, has over the last year been squeezing out independent media in the country, notably TV station Dozhd and the Echo of Moscow radio station.
Russian television channels such as RT have also been caught fabricating stories about Ukraine. RT last year was forced to retract a story about a three-year-old boy being crucified in Slaviansk, Ukraine, after the story was found to have been made up. It also posted video of what it said was a Ukrainian attack in the Donbas using phosphorous bombs, which turned out to be years-old video of a U.S. attack on the Iraqi town of Fallujah.
The Kremlin-controlled state media in Russia have also described the mass public uprising that ousted former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last year as a “fascist coup,” and suggested that flight MH17, which crashed in Ukraine on July 17 last year, was shot down by aa Ukrainian Su-25 ground attack aircraft – a theory that even Russian military experts have dismissed.