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New EU Sanctions Against Russia Target State-Owned Media Outlets, Family of Disinformation Operative

June 8th, 2022 15:33

The Euro­pean Union announced the sixth pack­age of sanc­tions against Rus­sia last week, which includes the sus­pen­sion of the broad­cast­ing activ­i­ties of three more Russ­ian state-owned media out­lets and sanc­tions tar­get­ing fam­i­ly mem­bers of Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tive Dim­itri Peskov. Accord­ing to a press release by the Euro­pean Council:

June 3, 2022 In light of Russia’s con­tin­u­ing war of aggres­sion against Ukraine and Belarus’ sup­port to it, as well as the report­ed atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by Russ­ian armed forces in Ukraine, the Coun­cil decid­ed today to impose a sixth pack­age of eco­nom­ic and indi­vid­ual sanc­tions tar­get­ing both Rus­sia and Belarus. […] The EU is sus­pend­ing the broad­cast­ing activ­i­ties in the EU of three more Russ­ian state-owned out­lets: Rossiya RTR/RTR Plan­e­ta, Rossiya 24 / Rus­sia 24 and TV Cen­tre Inter­na­tion­al. These struc­tures have been used by the Russ­ian Gov­ern­ment as instru­ments to manip­u­late infor­ma­tion and pro­mote dis­in­for­ma­tion about the inva­sion of Ukraine, includ­ing pro­pa­gan­da, with the aim to desta­bilise Rus­si­a’s neigh­bour­ing coun­tries and the EU and its mem­ber states. In line with the Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights, these mea­sures will not pre­vent those media out­lets and their staff from car­ry­ing out activ­i­ties in the EU oth­er than broad­cast­ing, e.g. research and interviews.

Read the rest here.

Accord­ing to the full EU reg­u­la­tion adopt­ed on June 3, the Euro­pean Union sanc­tioned anoth­er 65 indi­vid­u­als and 18 enti­ties due to their involve­ment in respect of “actions under­min­ing or threat­en­ing the ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty, sov­er­eign­ty and inde­pen­dence of Ukraine”. The list of those sanc­tioned includes f Eliza­ve­ta Pesko­va and Niko­lay Peskov, two fam­i­ly mem­bers of Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tive and Krem­lin spokesman Dim­it­ry Peskov. In Feb­ru­ary and March, Peskov was sanc­tioned by the US, Aus­tralia, Cana­da, and the Euro­pean Union, which described him as a “pro­pa­gan­dist who con­tributes to spread anti-Ukrain­ian pro­pa­gan­da.” In April, the US Gov­ern­ment pub­lished a pro­file of Peskov, call­ing him “the face of Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da.” Accord­ing to a US State Depart­ment profile:

April 18, 2022 Dmitri Peskov has served as Vladimir Putin’s spokesper­son since 2008. In this capac­i­ty, he has played a key role in pro­pa­gan­da and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns to cov­er up the Kremlin’s links to the 2006 polo­ni­um poi­son­ing of for­mer Russ­ian intel­li­gence offi­cer Alexan­der Litvi­nenko, the 2018 Novi­chok poi­son­ing of for­mer Russ­ian mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cer Sergei Skir­pal and his daugh­ter Yulia, and the 2020 Novi­chok poi­son­ing of Russ­ian oppo­si­tion leader Alex­ei Naval­ny. In all these cas­es, offi­cial and inde­pen­dent sources have debunked the Kremlin’s dis­in­for­ma­tion and estab­lished the Kremlin’s direct respon­si­bil­i­ty. Serv­ing Putin has been lucra­tive for Peskov, and despite being a civ­il ser­vant for his entire career, he and his fam­i­ly are now mul­ti­mil­lion­aires. […] Despite these clear, fac­tu­al, and irrefutable accounts, Peskov has been one of the key imple­menters of the Kremlin’s stan­dard dis­in­for­ma­tion play­book of denial, lies, and obfuscation.

Read the full pro­file here.

In Feb­ru­ary, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report report­ed that the Euro­pean Union had banned RT and Sput­nik over dis­in­for­ma­tion on Ukraine.