How one company helped Russia’s TV propaganda machine stay online

“If European authorities impose new sanctions on Russian channels, we will stop their broadcasts,” the company said. “At this stage, no regulator or other authority has asked us to stop broadcasting private Russian TV channels in Russia,” it added.

Philipoff and Lange have been turning their appeal to politicians, with little success. “We sent letters to all French members of the European Parliament,” Lange said. “There isn’t an answer.”

Exactly how Paris or Brussels forced Eutelsat to block these Russian channels is an open question. If the European Parliament can ban English-language Sputnik and RT stations, the sanctions should have the power to remove Russian-language television from their satellites, Lange and Philipoff said. In May, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament that they would ban three new broadcasters “in any form or form, whether through cable, satellite, Internet or through Smartphone Apps”.

Politico reports that the three broadcasters are Russian-language news networks reaching Europe with the help of Eutelsat satellites.

Eutelsat told Wired, “We are aware that the EU intends to sanction three Russian channels, two of which are broadcast on our satellites, and we are prepared to stop broadcasting these channels as soon as the corresponding European regulations are issued.”

The United States recently imposed sanctions on three Russian-language television stations, including NTV (the flagship station of provider NTV+), for what they believe are “spreading false information in support of Putin’s war”. The sanctions could affect their overseas income, but not their business in Russia.

Tracking satellites would be a devastating upgrade in itself. Moscow and Kyiv have begun targeting each other’s satellite communications.

Russian hackers targeted U.S. satellite provider Viasat hours before its intrusion, Western intelligence agencies said. In a joint statement with the US and EU, the UK’s National Cyber ​​Centre said: “While the main target is believed to be the Ukrainian military, other customers were also affected, including personal and commercial internet users.”

Earlier this week, just ahead of Russia’s Victory Day celebrations – which provided Moscow with the perfect opportunity to flex its muscles in its deadlocked war – Ukraine’s State Special Communications Service announced that “[television] Broadcasts from Russian satellites to occupied Ukraine were unexpectedly shut down. “

As Wired reports, Ukraine is actively deploying Starlink terminals provided by the US and Europe, while Russian satellite communications remain mired.

European cooperation is not limited to Eutelsat’s satellite TV. Eutelsat has two subsidiaries in Russia, including home internet provider Konnect. In turn, the Russian state satellite operator owns a small stake in Eutelsat itself. (Company filings say the majority of the 3.62 percent ownership stake corresponds to the Russian Satellite Communications Corporation, or RSCC.)

Meanwhile, about two dozen countries form the Moscow-based Intersputnik Alliance, mostly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its members include the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany and Ukraine. In 2020, France announced its intention to join the International Space Communications Organization.

Intersputnik managed part of the Soviet satellite fleet before it was privatized after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moscow’s influence on the organization is fairly obvious: its board chairman is a senior civil servant in the Russian government.

As the West continues its chaotic divorce from Russia, groups like Intersputnik could allow Russia to launch and maintain satellite services that support not only television but also internet services, military communications and geospatial imaging.

Lange and Philippe of the Diderot Commission hope that this current struggle will lead to a more open flow of information in the future — which is why their group’s joking name.As its website explains: “On July 6, 1762, just nine days after the coup d’état put her on the throne of June 28, Catherine II invited the French philosopher Denis Diderot to Russia publishing encyclopedia, which has been banned in Paris. Diderot accepted her invitation and arrived in St. Petersburg in October 1773. “

If Russia doesn’t fight back against French censorship, encyclopediaOne of the most important works of the Enlightenment, probably never published.


Leave a Reply