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Germany launches anti-Putin media service

Russian propaganda made even liberal Europeans start a serious opposition. Germany is already planning to launch an English-language resource to counter the aggressive rhetoric of the Kremlin this spring.

Germany launches anti-Putin media service

Absurd Russian propaganda antagonizes the European information space. Thus, Deutsche Welle, the German media company is planning to launch a new English-language media project called DWNews in April. According to Deutsche Welle President Peter Limburg, the new resource is created in order to "defy [Russian President Vladimir] Putin"s the propaganda," reports Joinfo.ua with reference to The Wall Street Journal.

The publication notes that Russia has been actively spreading the ideas of its propaganda in English and German with the help of Russia Today offices throughout Europe. "Through new websites and television channels, RT has reported critically on Western media outlets" coverage of the crisis in eastern Ukraine and has run editorials accusing the U.S. of military involvement in the region, which Washington denies," the WSJ reads. The newspaper also notes that the government of the Chancellor Angela Merkel says Deutsche Welle and its new project DWNews will play the leading role in countering Russian propaganda.

This year, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany boosted the annual budget of Deutsche Welle by more than 9.3% to € 294 mln ($ 332 mln). Interestingly, the idea of a new English-language service was criticized by both Deutsche Welle's editors and opposition politicians. "I don't want to see the Deutsche Welle become a mouthpiece for the German foreign ministry," said Harald Petzold, a parliamentarian for the opposition left party Die Linke.

However, the authors of the article write that for the government, Deutsche Welle is the best option to deal with the Russian propaganda. "Deutsche Welle is the lighthouse for Germany's democracy around the world," said Monika Grütters, German minister of culture and media, in the German parliament last December. "For some it is the only connection to the free world."

Recently, Reuters reported that Germany had decided to form an institution that would study Russian and Eastern European countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be engaged in the creation of the new structure. The need to study the economy, society and regions of Russia, as well as the republics of the former Soviet Union has emerged due to "the paradigm shift in our relations with Russia since the annexation of Crimea," say the officials close to the country's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. For the work of the new institution there will be annually allocated € 2,5 million from the German federal budget.