On Friday, the United Kingdom banned the Russian channel, Russia Today (RT), because they don’t find it capable of providing fair coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and crisis in Ukraine, officials emphasized.
European Union member states have also banned Russia Today, considering sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the reason for the invasion as a “special military operation” aimed at ousting the “neo-Nazis” ruling Ukraine.
The shelling has killed around 50,000 people in the war, and more than 25 lakh people have left the country.
Melanie Dawes, chief Ofcom, UK’s broadcast media regulator, has asserted that they don’t find RT fit and proper to hold a licence in the UK.
As per the reports, the British regulator confronted RT by conducting 29 inquiries over its coverage of the Ukraine war. RT constantly supported the Russian invasion by saying Russia is administering a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine.
On March 4, Russia introduced laws criminalizing any reporting that did not match the government’s narrative on the invasion of Ukraine.
Ofcom said on Friday that it had included the development in its decision to ban the channel, noting that it affected the impartiality of the Russian-backed media house.
As per The Guardian, the regulator said they find that given these constraints, it appears impossible for RT to comply with the reasonable fairness rules of our Broadcast Code under the circumstances.
However, the ban on the channel will not disable RT from operating or distributing news on its online digital media platforms.
RT accused the UK regulator’s decision that it violates the freedom of speech. The channel said, “We were banned from working for one reason: any point of view in the West that differs from the official has no right to exist anymore,” Chanel said.
Meanwhile, Ofcom asserted that they are duty-bound to protect audiences from gaining harmful and partial broadcast news services in the UK.