The new Russian news channel, Sputnik, seen as the Kremlin's medium of international propaganda, is preparing to expand into Latvia and is hiring journalists in the Baltic state, the Latvian Television show De facto reported on Sunday.
© RIA/Scanpix

Sputnik plans to launch an online site in Latvia in two languages - Russian and Latvian. The target audience will be young people. Sputnik also plans to expand its activities on the radio and the Internet.

Sputnik representatives visited Latvia about two weeks ago and offered cooperation opportunities to several Russian-speaking journalists and media leaders. A number of journalists who were approached by Sputnik were told that they would not have to be engaged in propaganda, while others were told that Sputnik wished to represent Russia's official take on global events. Sputnik is offering local journalists higher salaries and better social guarantees than the local mass media.

Sputnik is part of the Russian state information agency Rossiya Segodnya, headed by the controversial media personality Dmitry Kiselyov. Due to his propaganda activities, Kiselyov has been included on the European Union's list of sanctions. Sputnik plans to begin operations in 30 languages in 34 countries all over the world this year. The channel currently operates in 14 languages in ten countries, including regions in which Russia is particularly interested, for example, the internationally unrecognised Republic of Abkhazia.

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