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Non-Kremlin television starts broadcasting from Prague

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Prague, Feb 13 (CTK) – A Russian-speaking television channel, called Nastoyashcheye Vremya (Presence), has started broadcasting from Prague in order to break the Kremlin’s monopoly on the truth, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Monday.

In fact, this is a widened activity of the Radio Liberty (RFE-RL) radio station, LN writes.

The television channel follows up the original task of the radio established by the U.S. Congress in 1950.

At that time, it could be heard in Bulgaria, former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania, LN writes.

Now the situation is different. Both the radio and the new television station are mainly destined for the countries with Russian-speaking population, it adds.

However, the aim is the same. It is to send alternative information to the places where the freedom of the media is suppressed, LN writes.

The Russian media space is largely dominated by state-run television stations or those loyal to the state that disseminate the Kremlin propaganda, it adds.

This is why it is still valid in Russia that “television defeats the fridge,” which means that even the falling living standards and growing prices cannot outweigh most Russians’ loyalty to President Vladimir Putin.

In addition, a part of the news coverage and public affairs programmes of the 1st channel of the Russian television presents the reports on the decadent life in the EU, describing the suffering of ordinary people under the supremacy of a Jewish-homosexual lobby, LN writes.

The new television station is to face this, too, although it cannot be expected to be watched by the whole of Russia in the near future, it adds.

The plan of the leadership of the new Russian-speaking television channel is clear: to break the Kremlin’s monopoly on the domination of the Russian-speaking media space not only in Russia and the former Soviet countries, but also in other parts of the world, where a part of the population speaks Russian such as Israel, Spain and Germany, LN writes.

The media project is paid by the U.S. and is part of Radio Free Europe (RFE), based in Prague since 1995.

From this place, Nastoyashcheye Vremya has been broadcasting since last Tuesday, LN writes.

The trial broadcasting started in 2014 and in 2015, the Czech Council for Radio and Television Broadcasts (CRTV) granted a licence to RFE thanks to which it can disseminate the tv signal to a number of countries, not only to the Czech Republic, it adds.

Now its 24-hour programme, that can also be watched online, started, LN writes.

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, it adds.

The television station will focus on the topics of corruption scandals, poverty, health care, prices, tourism and popularisation of science.

Nastoyashcheye Vremya will have to work with a much smaller budget than those of large Russian television stations.

However, it will primarily encounter big problems with establishing cooperation with local television stations in Russian regions. Their financing depends on commercials. Along with business laws, this is subjected to a political dictate. In Russia, the media outlets that do not comply with the Kremlin’s official line mostly do not get commercials from large companies, LN writes.

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