Russian television to start 40 hours of weekly programming in Washington D.C.
August 08, 2003 Posted: 11:55 Moscow time (07:55 GMT)
WASHINGTON - Russian World TV, partly owned by an agency of the Russian government, is beginning regular programs from Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union that will give the Washington area more than 40 hours a week of news and entertainment.
It also plans to spread to other parts of the United States.
Programs due to start Aug. 15 will be in Russian with English subtitles, on both broadcast and on cable. There will be music, films, documentaries, situation comedies and children's programs.
Vladimir Ananich, president of Russian World TV, told a news conference on Thursday that he hoped to spread its broadcasts all over the United States. He said he expects that two hours of daily programming will begin in Chicago in about three months.
Television in some cities - notably New York, Miami and Washington - already presents brief programs without subtitles, watched mostly by immigrants from Russia.
Xenia Portnoy, an assistant to Ananich, said news programs will be assembled from different sources. Sergey A. Ryabkov, deputy chief of mission at the Russian Embassy, said Russian World TV is independent of the Russian government.
Adrian Karatnycky, counselor and former president of Freedom House, a nonpartisan Washington-based group concerned with threats to democracy, said that "any news source from Russian TV is bound to reflect the views of the Russian government or at a minimum to refrain from sharp criticism of government policies."
The Web site of Russian World TV lists one of its owners as Russian TV and Radio Networks, "a governmental agency, the owner of a network of transmitting and retransmitting facilities." Ananich said he could not give an exact figure on how much it owns of Russian World TV.