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Georgia’s last Russian-language TV channel off air

Russia Today [1]
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008

Georgia has closed its last remaining Russian-language television channel, RTVi, after it broadcast an interview with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. The move was reported on Monday by Russian radio channel Ekho Moskvy, an affiliate of RTVi.

“The Union of Cable Television of Georgia has informed RTVi management that it will temporarily stop the operation of this channel in the country and suggested suspending the broadcasting agreement,” the radio station newscaster said.

The Chief Editor of Ekho Moskvy, Aleksey Venediktov, called the closure of channels and the ban on free access to other media an attempt “to conceal the truth from its citizens and to save face”. “Only authoritarian and totalitarian leaders are afraid of independent and professional media,” Venediktov was quoted as saying.

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After the start of the armed conflict in South Ossetia, Georgia stopped the broadcasts of all Russian-language television channels and blocked access to Russian-language websites.