The EU suspends four Russian media channels for propaganda and supporting war in Ukraine

The European Council voted on Friday to suspend four Russian media outlets in the European Union for spreading propaganda and supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine. File photo by Patrick Seeger/EPA-EFE

May 17 (UPI) – The European Council voted on Friday to ban four Russian media companies from broadcasting in the European Union.

It said that Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya were spreading Russian propaganda and supporting the war of aggression against Ukraine.


“These media are under the constant direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation and have been essential and instrumental in promoting and supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and destabilizing its neighboring countries,” the council said.

The Council added that Russia has conducted a systematic international propaganda campaign of media and information manipulation to justify its invasion of Ukraine.

The European Commission said on Friday it welcomed the Council’s decision to suspend Russian-controlled media “given their role in supporting and justifying Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The Commission said the activities of these Russian media constituted a “significant and direct threat” to EU public order and security.

“The sanctions do not target freedom of expression,” the European Commission said in a statement. “They include specific guarantees for freedom of expression and journalistic activities. The measures do not prevent the sanctioned broadcasters and their employees from carrying out activities other than broadcasting in the Union, such as research and interviews.”

The Commission said the suspensions should continue until Russian aggression against Ukraine ends and the media stops carrying out misinformation campaigns against the EU and its member states.

In 2022, the EU imposed sanctions on Russian companies Russia Today and Sputnik, partly for spreading disinformation about Russia’s war against Ukraine.