Russian state-owned media outlet RT will no longer be available on Sky

Putin propaganda channel Russia Today WILL disappear from British TV screens as government moves to shut down satellite that beams Kremlin lies into UK homes

  • The Russian state-owned media outlet RT will no longer be available on Sky TV
  • Nadine Dorries said ‘Putin’s propaganda machine’ would be ‘severely restricted’
  • Social media platform Facebook has also blocked access to RT and Sputnik 
  • Comes after the video-sharing website YouTube blocked channels linked to RT

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’. 

Nadine Dorries (pictured) said the move would be ‘severely restricted’ in Britain, with the channel set to disappear from Sky TV in the UK within the next 24 hours.

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.

‘Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately,’ a statement from Google Europe said.

RT, which has a number of British presenters and reporters, has reportedly referred to the invasion of Ukraine as a ‘special military operation’ (file image)

‘It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action.’

Fellow social media platform Facebook has also blocked access to RT and Sputnik on its platform having previously also limited those channels’ ability to make advertising revenue.

The change means the pages of the organisations are not visible on Facebook or Instagram in the EU, but for now, they remain visible in the UK.

Former UK deputy prime minister, Sir Nick Clegg, who is now vice president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said the firm had been asked by governments to take further action against Russian state-backed media.

‘We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media,’ he said on Twitter on Monday night.

‘Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.’

On Sunday, Boris Johnson said the channel had been ‘peddling’ content that was ‘doing a lot of damage to the truth’, and called for Ofcom to look at whether it was ‘infringing the rules of this country’. 

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