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RFE/RL Launches “Current Time Baltics” to Counter Kremlin Propaganda

Latvian President Egils Levits Speaks at RFE/RL’s Riga Launch. Credit: Toms Norde (RFE/RL)

Riga, Latvia – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) launched “Current Time Baltics” on its Russian-language television and digital network Current Time. “Current Time Baltics” is a critical part of RFE/RL’s strategy to counter Russian malign influence across Europe by providing new Russian-language audiences with trusted news and information.

“Current Time Baltics” is a news and current affairs program that is an alternative to Kremlin state media for Russian-language audiences in the Baltic region and wider Europe. Through expert interviews and human interest stories, the program will cover Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia collectively as a region, focusing on their democratic freedoms and contributions to a rules-based international order. Latvian President Egils Levits was interviewed in one of the first shows, setting a high standard for future broadcasts.

“‘Current Time Baltics’ will be an important check on the Kremlin’s corrosive lies about the Baltic states’ democratic institutions and values,” said RFE/RL President and CEO Jamie Fly. “Thanks to our talented team in Latvia, this program will reach new Russian-speaking audiences with trusted reporting that provides a positive vision for Russians seeking a better future.”

“Current Time Baltics” will air live for 30 minutes at 17:00 local time Monday through Friday from RFE/RL’s Riga office. The show is produced by veteran Latvian television producer, Inese Karklina, and supported by a team hired locally in Riga, with additional staff in Tallinn, and Vilnius.

Opened in January 2023, RFE/RL’s Riga office is home to displaced Russian journalists and expanded production teams hired locally to meet the surging demand for independent news since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. From Riga, RFE/RL will continue to meet the demand for independent news within Russia with a new investigative unit, Systema; and a soon-to-be-launched streaming platform, Votvot, for cultural and other content banned by the Kremlin. RFE/RL is also launching a Digital Innovation Lab in Riga to respond to censorship and disinformation across the company’s growing markets.

Current Time is an award-winning 24/7 Russian-language television and digital network reaching growing audiences in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Baltics. It fulfills a critical part of an editorial strategy aimed at countering Kremlin propaganda. Despite significant state censorship, Current Time videos have been viewed over four billion times since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a record for the network.

About RFE/RL

RFE/RL relies on its networks of local reporters to provide accurate news and information to more than 40 million people every week in 27 languages and 23 countries where media freedom is restricted, or where a professional press has not fully developed. Its videos were viewed 15 billion times on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in 2022. RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media.