May 24, 2022

RT YESTERDAY: Ukraine war results in shut down of major Russian propaganda channel

RT YESTERDAY: Ukraine war results in shut down of major Russian propaganda channel

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Vladimir Putin may not have completely thought out the unintended consequences of Russia’s universally condemned invasion of Ukraine.

Those consequences, however, are increasing with each passing day.

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Today, Putin is facing the loss of the biggest outlet for Russian propaganda in the United States as the production company responsible for producing the American version of Russia’s state-controlled broadcaster, RT America, announced that it was laying off the majority of its staff and ceasing operations.

According to a report on the CNN Business website:

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“Misha Solodovnikov, the general manager of the production company, T&R Productions, told staff that it will be “ceasing production” at all of its locations “as a result of unforeseen business interruption events.”
“Unfortunately, we anticipate this layoff will be permanent, meaning that this will result in the permanent separation from employment of most T&R employees at all locations,” Solodovnikov wrote in his memo to employees.
Among those “unforeseen business interruption events” that Solodovnikov refers to is the fact that RT America was dropped by the AT&T-owned DirecTV earlier this week in direct response to Putin’s ill-considers invasion of Ukraine.
“In line with our previous agreement with RT America, we are accelerating this year’s contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately,” a DirecTV spokesperson told CNN Business in a statement on Tuesday.
The closure of RT America means that Putin will no longer have direct access to American citizens to freely purvey the Russian government’s self-interested propaganda and also leaves several U.S. TV personalities  — including former SNL-cast member Dennis Miller and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura — without a job at the network.
With ICANN —the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the governing technical body that keeps the world wide web operational — refusing to cut off access to the internet in Russia so far while the Ukraine war continues to rage, Putin still can get his false messages about Ukraine across through social media and websites even after restricting access to Western social media for its own citizens by using previously established bot farms not officially linked to the Russian government.
It also can count on “useful idiots” like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, other right-wing media personalities like Steve Bannon, and former president Donald Trump to help advance its propaganda message to the U.S. people.
It now looks like Putin is beginning to face some consequences that he hadn’t expected, just as he hadn’t expected his Blitzkrieg-like assault to get bogged down in Ukrainian mud and hampered by logistics failures.
It couldn’t happen to a more deserving dictator.

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Original reporting by Oliver Darcy at CNN Business.

RELATED STORY: RUSSIA LIES: Civilians dying from the invasion Putin denied just 10 days ago

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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