Russian state-owned media outlet RT will no longer be available on Sky as the government moves to shut down the satellite that broadcasts ‘Putin propaganda’, the culture secretary has said.
Nadine Dorries said the move would make RT ‘severely restricted’ in Britain, with the news channel set to disappear from Sky TV in the UK within the next 24 hours.
It comes as media regulator Ofcom yesterday began 15 investigations into the ‘due impartiality’ of the Russian broadcaster, formerly known as Russia Today. It is understood the investigations mainly centre on reporting from correspondents on the ground – in places like the Donbas region of Ukraine – rather than the handling of stories by presenters in the studio.
The move, which increases the likelihood of RT losing its UK licence, relates to 15 editions of its hourly news show aired on Sunday. RT, which has a number of British presenters and reporters, has reportedly referred to the invasion of Ukraine as a ‘special military operation’.
Meanwhile, the video-sharing website YouTube blocked channels linked to RT and Sputnik across Europe, including the UK.
The Google-owned platform said the ban was effective immediately though it may take some time for the block to become fully effective. In a tweet, Ms Dorries said: ‘Shortly, the French satellite which broadcasts Russia Today (RT) in both the EU and UK will be switched off.
‘This means RT will no longer be available via Sky.
‘Putin’s polluting propaganda machine will now have severely restricted access into British homes via our TV screens.’
The technology giant had previously limited the ability for RT and other Russian channels to make money from advertisements that appear on videos but has extended its sanctions.