The portals Caravanserai and Salaam Times, which analyze the news situation in Asia and are directly sponsored by the US Central Command (USCENTCOM), have accused Sputnik of spreading lies in an attempt to propagate chaos in Afghanistan.
In a piece headlined “Russia's Sputnik Sows Lies, Chaos in Afghanistan, Officials Say,” the two portals show a screenshot of a Sputnik article entitled “The Departure of the Soul from the Patient's Body in a Chinese Hospital.”
It should be noted that the above article has gone viral on social media and is by no means of Sputnik’s own making or aimed at “distorting facts” and “representing the Kremlin’s interests.”
Caravanserai and Salaam Times quote Afghan officials who accuse Sputnik of “spreading lies and exaggerations in an attempt to sow chaos in Afghanistan.”
The portals reference a statement by Mohammad Saber Momand, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, who allegedly told Salaam Times that “most of the reports published by Sputnik are far from the truth and are filled with exaggerations.”
"The activity of such media has only one outcome, which is creating chaos in a nation's public opinion. The Ministry of Information and Culture has plans to publicize the potential dangers of such media outlets. Implementation of that [policy] will leave media outlets like Sputnik with no audience in Afghanistan," he was quoted as saying.
In an interview with Sputnik, Mohammad Saber Momand disowned the statement published by Caravanserai and Salaam Times.
“I have never made such statements [about Sputnik],” he said, adding that the Ministry will ban news agencies working both in and outside Afghanistan whose publications violate Afghan laws and the Afghan Constitution.
“However, we support agencies, which are not evolved in this sort of propaganda and are not trying to brainwash our people. We are always at your service. It is the Ministry’s job to provide quick answers and provide our colleagues with truthful information,” Mohammad Saber Momand said.