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Russian propaganda channel aiming to launch in Estonia

"Sputnik", a new Russian radio station and website launched in Moscow on Monday, aims to broadcast in 30 languages, including in Estonian, beginning in 2015.

The startup says it intends to “point the way to a multipolar world that respects every country’s national interests, culture, history and traditions.”

It describes itself as the agency that is “uniquely positioned as a provider of alternative news content and a radio broadcaster, entirely geared toward foreign audiences.”

By 2015, it plans to have its multimedia centers located in world capitals that will maintain their own websites and broadcast from local radio stations, “telling the untold” stories, according to Dmitry Kiselev, the Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, who is in charge of the new Russian propaganda media initiative.

In a worrying course of direction, among the 130 cities and 34 states the new channel wants to cover, it has also set Estonia on its sights, along with neighboring countries Finland and Latvia.

“Sputnik” plans to employ between 30-100 local journalists for each station. It remains to be seen whether the new station will get a permission to launch in Estonia. The country already operates Russia Today (RT), which is seen by critics as being a propaganda mouthpiece of the Kremlin.

According to Finnish daily, Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish), Rossija Segodnja applied for the radio broadcasting license in Finland this year, but was refused due to lack of vacant frequencies. “Sputnik” has not yet applied for the broadcasting permit in Finland.

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