RT

Joseph Braude explains the popularity of RT in Arab countries and what American media can do to counter it.

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday banned Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from entering its premises, a day after the Russian government declared the organizations "foreign agents."  The 413-1 vote by the Russian State Duma to ban the outlets came as Moscow followed through on its promise to retaliate for similar U.S. actions against the English-language Russian network RT, which Russian leaders characterize as an assault on freedom of the press.

Russian lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to pass legislation allowing authorities to force any foreign media organization to register as a "foreign agent" under penalty of fines or a possible ban on operations in Russia. The legislation, passed 414 to 0 in retaliation for the registration of English-language Russian news network RT under a similar statute in the United States, was drafted hastily and is likely to be signed into law by Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by the end of the month.

RT, a Moscow-headquartered website and television channel that the U.S. government says is a propaganda outlet for the Kremlin, will register with U.S. authorities as a foreign agent, its editor said Thursday. The registration follows a months-long back-and-forth between RT and the Justice Department over whether it was required by U.S. law to register as an agent of the Russian government.

A look at some of the tactics the United States can use to respond to disinformation in the 21st century.

Mr. Tihonenko and Mr. Mamonov are two of the youthful faces of Current Time, America’s answer to Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin’s propaganda network. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has started a 24-hour Russian-language TV channel to counter the rise of RT and Sputnik, another pervasive Russian broadcaster. Viewers of Current Time in Russia proper cannot be many—it started quietly in October, and is available there only online or by satellite. No cable providers will carry it.

Mr. Bogachikhin was poking fun at the charge from Western governments, American and European, that RT is an agent of Kremlin policy and a tool directly used by President Vladimir V. Putin to undermine Western democracies — meddling in the recent American presidential election and, European security officials say, trying to do the same in the Netherlands, France and Germany, all of which vote later this year. But the West is not laughing.

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