Banned Russian broadcaster boosts UAE presence in attempt to exonerate Putin

Banned Russian broadcaster boosts UAE presence in attempt to exonerate Putin

Banned broadcaster RT has ramped up its presence in the UAE and other countries neutral over Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine in a propaganda push to rehabilitate Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin-controlled news channel, formerly known as Russia Today, was banned in the UK and EU, and blocked in the US, after the February 2022 invasion.

It has launched advertising campaigns across the Middle East and Africa, as Putin tries to cement alliances amid Western efforts to isolate him and put economic pressure on Russia.

In India, RT is campaigning for Britain to return the Koh-i-Noor diamond as part of the propaganda blitz in countries which continue to buy Russian oil – a vital source of income for Putin’s war machine.

RT advertises its Arabic language version on posters across Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Putin made a rare state visit last month.

Western sanctions on Russia have made Moscow dependent on trade with neutral countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India, which have not imposed the same punitive measures.

In Dubai’s hotel rooms, it is easy to watch RT programmes in English as the channel denounces the “regime” in Kyiv and predicts ultimate victory for Putin’s forces.

At the time of Putin’s visit, RT was running a bulletin suggesting support for Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine was dropping.

It also reported that the Ukrainian counter-offensive had been a dismal failure and accused the Ukrainian president of ordering assassinations in Russian territory.

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