The U.S. government-backed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE) and Voice of America launched a new 24-hour Russian-language channel on Tuesday to offer Russian speakers living at home and abroad a new alternative to government-run media.
The channel, Nastoyashchee Vremya (Current Time), is available on cable, satellite and digital platforms and aimed at millions of Russian speakers in Russia, the Baltics, Ukraine, the Caucasus, central Asia and for the countries with Russian-speaking population such as Israel, Spain and Germany.
“We believe our objective and balanced channel will serve as an alternative to disinformation and lies that sometimes we see coming from Russian state-sponsored outlets. We are not counter propaganda at all. We are objective and balanced, verified news. We are an open platform for anyone who wants to engage in a civilized discussion.” Kenan Aliyev, executive editor of Current Time.
The project was launched under the Barack Obama administration when the relations between Moscow and Washington were tense. It is unclear whether new U.S. President Donald Trump will be ready to finance it, too.