Senior Biden administration officials have done at least seven interviews with Russian-language news outlets in recent days as part of an effort to counter the Kremlin’s disinformation about the Ukraine crisis and speak directly to a Russian audience, US officials explained.
State Department under secretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland did an interview with Echo of Moscow Radio today, the day after the Kremlin took the radio station off the airwaves. The State Department reached out to the outlet to propose the interview, according to a US official, and it was aired on the radio’s YouTube channel. And the day before the outlet was shut down, State Department spokesperson Ned Price did an interview with the outlet.
The department will continue to support these outlets even after the Kremlin bans them, as an effort to keep their work relevant, US officials said. Top Biden administration officials are also aggressively calling out the Kremlin for cracking down on the media.
“The Kremlin right now is engaged in a full assault on media freedom and the truth,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday, saying the White House is “deeply concerned” about those steps.
She cited restricted access to independent news networks Echo of Moscow and TV Rain, as well as threats to block online platforms including VOA Russia.
Price said on Wednesday night that the “Kremlin is engaged in a full assault on media freedom and the truth, and Moscow’s efforts to mislead and suppress the truth of the brutal invasion are intensifying.”