RFE/RL marks anniversary of Rīga bureau launch

January 12 marked one year since the opening of the Rīga office of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the U.S.-backed media organization said on its anniversary. 

More than 70 employees currently work in RFE/RL's Rīga office, including journalists from RFE/RL's Russian-language editorial office "Radio Svoboda" and TV channel "Current Time", who were forced to leave Russia due to the Putin regime's harsh censorship and persecution of anything resembling independent media.

"We are grateful to the Latvian government and society for welcoming RFE/RL back to Riga", said Stephen Capus, interim president of RFE/RL. "We see it as supporting our mission to counter the Kremlin's disinformation by providing Russian-speaking audiences with reliable news and unbiased journalism."

In March 2023, the Baltic program of the TV channel "Current Time" began to be broadcast from the Riga office. The news and current affairs program is broadcast every weekday from 17:00 to 17:30 and is intended for Russian-speaking audiences.

Eight employees of the Russian investigative journalism project "Sistema" also work in the Riga office. Over the past year, "Sistema" has published several important investigative journalism articles, including a report on a fake private company created by the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) in cooperation with the Ukrainian investigative journalism project "Schemes" .

This week also marks the first anniversary of the opening of the RFE/RL Vilnius office. It has a staff of 28, most of whom are journalists from Belarus who were forced to leave after Alexander Lukashenko's fraudulent 2020 elections and brutal crackdown. RFE/RL's Belarusian language editorial team and the team of the TV channel "Current Time" in Vilnius prepare content for the Belarusian audience in both Belarusian and Russian.

RFE/RL is registered as a private, nonprofit corporation, and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media. All major policy determinations governing RFE/RL operations are made by RFE/RL's Board of Directors and its editorial independence is protected by U.S. law.

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