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Tired of ‘Aggressive Mainstream Propaganda'? The Kremlin Is Launching a News Network Just for You

Images mixed by Kevin Rothrock.

Images mixed by Kevin Rothrock.

Russia's state-run Rossia Segodnya media holding has launched a new international multimedia project to “provide an alternative viewpoint on world events.” Sputnik International, which replaces the English-language RIA Novosti service, will incorporate several websites and radio stations, and plans to have news hubs in up to 30 cities by 2015.

Dmitry Kiselev, head of Rossia Segodnya, and host of Vesti Nedeli, known for his outrageous comments on current affairs and often called “Russia's propagandist-in-chief,” claimed Sputnik's launch was meant for people who are “tired of aggressive propaganda” and want a “different perspective.”

We will verify information, our information will be reliable. We will provide alternative interpretations that are, undoubtedly, in demand around the world. We think that the world is tired of the unipolar point of view… We believe that the basis of such a multicolored and multipolar world is international law, a world by rule.

Sputnik, the Russian world for “satellite,” is a great way to brand a Russian media product, as it “sounds familiar, warm, swift and romantic,” said Kiselev. He insisted that Sputnik does not intend to replace RIA Novosti in Russia, and that the new brand will only work outside the country. The takeover is already evident, though, as the RIA Novosti English website en.ria.ru now redirects to sputniknews.com.

Many journalists who previously followed the English-language @ria_novosti Twitter account were surprised to discover they are now subscribed to @SputnikInt instead, as it quietly took over the account, which has over 55,000 followers.

Oh, that's what it is, okay then.

Incidentally, the @ria_novosti name, which became vacant, was immediately occupied by someone else, and the account now looks set to become a parody one.

RuNet users and foreign observers have reacted with gusto to the new media brand, its plans and its new motto: “Telling the Untold.”

The scheme will be as follows now: RIA links to Sputnik, Sputnik quotes RT, and RT quotes RIA. Citations x3, hooray.

A few jibes also went Kiselev's way—he does, after all, have quite a reputation in the media circles and is also on the Western sanctions list along with other prominent Russian public figures.

At the launch of his new agency, Dmitry Kiselev spoke against ideological propaganda. What a funny joke, yeah.

BBC shudders—Kiselev has announced the launch of Sputnik, a radio and Internet media.

It's unlikely that Sputnik's media output will be drastically different from anything RIA Novosti or Russia Today already produce, so it's safe to say its “alternative viewpoint” will probably stay within close orbit of the Kremlin's agenda.

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