British Broadcast Regulator Officially Bans Russian News Network RT

British broadcast regulator Ofcom has officially withdrawn the license of RT News in the UK, the English language version of the Russian News network, despite a clean record and after weeks of lobbying by government ministers.

Ofcom stated that the “Russian Federation’s current conduct in Ukraine” was a justification for revoking RT’s license, adding that it is “difficult to see how a Russian state-funded news broadcaster could credibly avoid covering the events in Ukraine, or could expect to remain funded if it failed to convey the narrative that the Russian Federation seeks to impose on its own people and the rest of the world.”

Ofcom admitted that in the past “we have not had reason to investigate any of [RT’s] programming, and have not found it in breach of the Code.”

However, the regulator declared that the network “demonstrates that it has particular difficulty in complying with the due impartiality rules of the Code where they relate to matters of Russian foreign policy.”

“It appears impossible for the licensee to comply with the Code in respect of a matter of major political importance,” Ofcom further announced.

In other words, the channel has been banned for being Russian and partially funded by the state (as the BBC is in the UK), not for promoting ‘misinformation’ or doing anything wrong.

The action came in lockstep with the British government imposing a travel ban and freezing the assets of RT’s editor in chief Margarita Simonyan.

Responding to the decision, RT deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina said Ofcom “has shown the UK public, and the regulatory community internationally, that despite a well-constructed facade of independence, it is nothing more than a tool of government, bending to its media-suppressing will.”

Belkina added that “By ignoring RT’s completely clean record of four consecutive years and stating purely political reasons tied directly to the situation in Ukraine and yet completely unassociated to RT’s operations, structure, management or editorial output, Ofcom has falsely judged RT to not be ‘fit and proper’ and in doing so robbed the UK public of access to information.”

The Kremlin also responded to the development, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov noting “This is a continuation of the madness which is going on in America and Europe – it is anti-Russian madness. This is yet another step that crudely limits freedom of speech.”

In response to the limiting of RT and other Russia media sources, the Kremlin has blocked access to the BBC and some other Western media websites in Russia, as well as instituting laws to prevent foreign journalists reporting negatively on Russian military activity.

Ofcom’s action comes after RT has already been pulled off the air by practically all providers in the UK because of an EU-wide ban on the network, which affected the satellite feeds to the UK.

UK culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who has obsessed over getting RT banned, celebrated the Ofcom decision:

Dorries previously began literally crying in Parliament when talking about how unbiased the BBC is compared to RT:

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Alex Jones breaks down Putin's move to ask China for aid in Ukraine and how the escalation pushes the world to the brink of nuclear war.

(PHOTO: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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