16:00 GMT01 December 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) has proven that it serves as a political tool for the UK government to attack the media London dislikes, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik news agency and RT broadcaster, has stated.

    "After Ofcom's yesterday's decision, I really want to rename Ofcom to Obkom [a high-profile regional Communist Party body in the Soviet Union], because there is absolutely no doubt anymore that this is just a political tool of the UK government to attack the media they do not like", Simonyan told Sputnik.

    Simonyan pointed out that the breaches were found several months after UK Prime Minister Theresa May had spoken out against alleged Russian disinformation. May slammed RT in September, accusing it of spreading propaganda.

    The Sputnik and RT editor-in-chief has also commented on some of the concerns expressed by the UK regulator, such as RT's alleged failure to provide an alternative point of view in the story on a contest of children's drawings, organized by the authorities in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, honoring the World War II Galician division linked to a Nazi paramilitary organization SS.

    "I cannot even call it nonsense. Because for a country like the United Kingdom, which fought fascists with us, this is simply undignified. For example, we are guilty of insufficiently representing an alternative point of view in the story on the contest of children's drawings on SS Galician division. That is, the point of view of SS. We could not believe our eyes when we saw that this was one of the concerns", Simonyan said.

    READ MORE: Russian Media Watchdog Roskomnadzor Launches Probe Into BBC World News in Russia

    The editor-in-chief added that the broadcaster attempted to remind the United Kingdom of its own participation in the WWII, but that did not help. Simonyan pointed out that the rest of the faults found by Ofcom were "more or less the same".

    "They did not find any lies, any distortion of facts, any fake news in our stories, so now we are guilty of doing bad publicity for the SS and people attacking Roma", Simonyan noted.

    The Sputnik editor-in-chief stressed that the broadcaster was, in fact, proud of this.

    Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said earlier in the day it had initiated an inspection of the BBC World News channel in Russia as well as BBC digital editions to verify the media's compliance with the Russian law after Ofcom accused RT broadcaster of bias. 

    READ MORE: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Urges Britons to Assess BBC Fake News

    Ofcom said on 20 December that RT had breached the regulator's broadcast rules by failing to provide impartial news coverage in seven programs aired in March and April.

    The situation around Russian media in the West has become increasingly difficult in recent years. In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution to counter alleged Russian anti-EU propaganda. According to the document, media such as Sputnik and RT pose a danger to European unity, and thus extra European Commission funding is needed for counter-propaganda projects. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the resolution proved that Western democracy was failing, but expressed hope that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without restrictions.


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    probe, media, Ofcom, Sputnik, RT, Margarita Simonyan, Russia, United Kingdom
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