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Exclusive: Russian propaganda radio station to air in Vienna, Austria

Radio Europa Liberă

Local sources in Vienna, Austria, have talked to The Trust Word expressing concern over the new propaganda radio station which is close to airing in the Central European country.

According to these sources, Russia is funding the new “Radio RU” station, created for serving Russian propaganda in Austria and Germany. The station would be run by controversial figure Yuri Zaitsev, former Head of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Vienna.

At this point it is not yet known if the new radio station would be part of a larger network or structure. Russian is using a series of media outlets for the promotion of Kremlin’s agenda abroad. Kremlin media polarize and undermine democratic processes in Europe using a new form of expansive digital authoritarianism that ­threatens the achievements of liberal ­democracies, says DW.

Since 2013, almost all European states have been on the receiving end of information operations by the Kremlin in order to influence political decision-making in democratic processes from outside. This is according to the interactive internet tool Authoritarian Interference Tracker developed by the German Marshall Fund which lists the Russian state’s interference in other countries in detail. In order to manipulate public discussions, especially in times of elections or referendums, information providers controlled by the Kremlin have purposefully disseminated disinformation, extremely hyperpartisan news and populist narratives.

This is not an extension of pluralism of opinion through balanced and objective information that is acceptable in the sense of a free public sphere, but rather illegitimate interference. Another narrative is to ascribe political dysfunction to Western democracies. In a British study on RT and Sputnik published this spring, Gordon Ramsay and Sam Robertshaw of the Policy Institute of London’s King’s College came to the conclusion that of the 2,641 articles on domestic issues in Britain, the U.S., France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Ukraine, 2,157 articles (81.7 percent) contained frames relating to political dysfunction.

By devaluing democratic processes in Europe, the undemocratic nature of the Russian system is to be concealed and the power of President Vladimir Putin legitimized.

Moreover, Kremlin interference in Europe is aimed at weakening political groups and parties that oppose the president’s policies and demand sanctions for the Kremlin. Medial support in Putin’s media is usually directed at populist parties in Europe or protest movements like the Yellow Vests in France.

A recent study conducted by the campaign platform Avaaz documented the extent to which the Kremlin-controlled foreign broadcaster RT has concentrated on the Yellow Vest movement in its French programming.

Source: The Trust Word

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