United Russia accuses Radio Liberty and CNN of interfering in Russia’s domestic policy
Russia’s governing political party United Russia has prepared a report on the work of American media organizations in Russia. The report maintains that the organizations seek to influence Russia’s domestic policy.
According to the head of the Duma’s committee on information policy and communications Leonid Levin, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and CNN disseminated information that “questioned the democratic nature Russia’s electoral system” during the 2016 Duma elections. The committee head maintains that the media organizations only depicted political parties Parnas and Yabloko in a positive light and relied on sources in the opposition, and that, in general, no more than 2 percent of their election coverage was positive.
According to Levin, the work of the mentioned media organizations is part of a “large-scale system of US influence on Russia’s internal political situation.”
News agency Interfax cited Levin as saying that approximately 30 percent of the output of Russia’s most important media structures is controlled from abroad. It was unclear which specific outlets he was referring to.
After Levin’s announcement, the leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggested that the work of Radio Liberty, Voice of America, and CNN be discussed at a private meeting with FSB head Alexander Bortnikov.
United Russia began working on its report on American media organizations after US Senator Jeanne Shaheen proposed that an investigation be launched into the activities of state-sponsored Russian television channel RT in March 2017. Shaheen introduced a bill proposing that the Russian “propaganda outlet” be investigated as a foreign agent.