Sputnik (news agency)

"Radio Sputnik" redirects here. For other uses, see Radio Sputnik (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Sputnik (search engine).
Predecessors RIA Novosti, Voice of Russia
Headquarters Moscow, Russian Federation
Area served
Parent Rossiya Segodnya
Website sputniknews.com

Sputnik (pronounced spʊtnɪk) is a news agency, news websites and radio broadcast service established by the Russian government-controlled news agency Rossiya Segodnya.[1] Headquartered in Moscow, Sputnik has regional editorial offices in Washington, Cairo, Beijing, London and Edinburgh. It focuses on global politics and economics and is geared entirely towards a non-Russian audience.[2] Sputnik has been accused of bias, disinformation[3] and being a Russian propaganda outlet.[4][5]

Sputnik currently operates news websites, featuring reporting and commentary, in over 30 languages including English, Spanish, Polish, Serbian, and several others. The websites also house over 800 hours of radio broadcasting material each day and its newswire service runs around the clock.[6][7][8] Alongside its news content, Sputnik also sells other products including photo essays, live streaming, infographics, and public opinion surveys.[9][10]

Sputnik News is a successor to Russian state-owned RIA Novosti's international branch, which became defunct in 2013.[11] Whereas RIA Novosti's output tended to emanate from a more concentrated base in Moscow, Sputnik's content is drawn from a number of international bureaux.


RIA Novosti was Russia's international news agency until 2013, and it continues to be the name of a state-operated domestic Russian-language news agency.[12] On 9 December 2013, RIA Novosti entered liquidation and a new Russian international news agency Rossiya Segodnya[13] was created. Dmitry Kiselev, an anchorman of the Russia-1 channel was appointed to be the first president of the new agency.[14]

Sputnik was launched on 10 November 2014 by Rossiya Segodnya, an agency wholly owned and operated by the Russian government, which was created by an Executive Order of the President of Russia on December 9, 2013.[1] Sputnik replaces the RIA Novosti news agency and Voice of Russia (which was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 9 November 2014) on an international stage (which remains active in Russia).[15] Within Russia itself, however, Rossiya Segodnya continues to operate its Russian language news service under the name RIA Novosti.[16] According to its chief Dmitry Kiselyov, Sputnik was intended to counter the "aggressive propaganda that is now being fed to the world".[17]

In 2015, Sputnik announced their intention to locate the agency's new UK Radio studio in Scotland's capital Edinburgh.[18] The agency subsequently established its radio studio and bureau in the city and launched its current affairs and news programme, ‘World in Focus’, at a press conference on 10 August 2016.[6]

In March 2016, access to Sputnik's online content was blocked by Turkish authorities, as well as denying the Turkish bureau chief Tural Kerimov access to the country. The move is thought to have been in response to comments by the Russian leadership that were critical of Presidant Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding the Turkish administration's record on human rights and freedom of speech.[19][20] The website was subsequently unblocked later that same year.[21]

In June 2016, Sputnik plagiarized the French fake news website "Le Gorafi" in an imagined article about a 17-year-old going into the Élysée to catch a Pokémon in Pokémon Go.[22][23]


Wire services

As a news agency, Sputnik maintains six news wires:[24]

Online news

List indicator(s)
  • RIA : RIA Novosti previously operated online editions in these languages.
  • VOR : inherited from Voice of Russia's online news service.
  • ru : Sputnik also operates Russian language editions for areas served by these editions.

Apart from wire services, Sputnik also operates online news in following languages:

Sputnik previously operated the following editions, which were later shutdown:


Radio Sputnik is the audio element of the Sputnik platform and aims to "operate in 30 languages in 2015, for a total of over 800 hours a day, covering over 130 cities and 34 countries on "FM, DAB/DAB+ (Digital Radio Broadcasting), HD Radio, as well as mobile phones and the Internet."[25] It is also available on various satellite transponders, including a 24 hour English service audible in North America via the Galaxy-19 satellite. Notable presenters on Radio Sputnik include Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, who present the weekly economics based talk show Double Down,[26] and liberal talk radio host Thom Hartmann, whose Thom Hartmann Program is syndicated daily on Sputnik.


Foreign Policy magazine has described Sputnik as a slick and internet-savvy outlet of Kremlin propaganda, which "remixes President Vladimir Putin's brand of revanchist nationalism for an international audience... beating a predictable drum of anti-Western rhetoric."[4] Such views were also voiced by the Washington DC-based think tank[27] Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), which argues that Sputnik spreads biased information. For instance, CEPA argues that Sputnik invites only a select group of commenting politicians, especially those known for their pro-Russian views.[5] According to Kevin Rothrock, Russia editor for Global Voices, Sputnik "acts as a spoiler to try and disrupt or blur information unfriendly to Russia, such as Russian troops' widely alleged involvement in the war in Ukraine."[28]

German journalist and author Michael Thumann has described Sputnik as being part of what he calls Russia's "digital information war against the West".[29] Alexander Podrabinek, a Russian journalist who works for the Radio France Internationale[30][31] (part of French government's France Médias Monde) and the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty[32] (part of Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent agency of the United States government) has accused Sputnik of disseminating Russian state propaganda abroad.[17]

In October 2016, Sputnik falsified the contents of Wikileaks e-mails in a story that attacked Hillary Clinton; Sputnik later took down the article.[33] Donald Trump recited the false story at one of his rallies.[33]

See also


  1. 1 2 Pizzi, Michael (December 9, 2013). "Putin dissolves RIA Novosti news agency". Al Jazeera America.
  2. Sputnik. "Sputnik International". sputniknews.com.
  3. MacFarquhar, Neil (28 August 2016). "A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. 1 2 Elias, Groll (November 10, 2014). "Kremlin's 'Sputnik' Newswire Is the BuzzFeed of Propaganda". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Sputnik. Propaganda in a New Orbit". Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  6. 1 2 "Russian news agency Sputnik sets up Scottish studio". BBC News. 2016-08-10. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  7. "Sputnik Launches 24/7 News Coverage in Chinese". Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  8. Hilburn, Matthew. "Russia's New World Broadcast Service is 'Sputnik'". VOA. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  9. "Sputnik launched to news orbit: Russia's new intl media to offer alternative standpoint". rt.com.
  10. Sputnik. "International News Agency and Radio Sputnik Launches Photobank". sputniknews.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  11. Russia Today, Sputnik launched to news orbit: Russia's new intl media to offer alternative standpoint, 11 November 2014:"...outside Russia our agency will be branded as Sputnik, which sounds familiar, warm, swift and romantic..."
  12. Country profile: Russia – Media, BBC News, last updated 6 March 2012.
  13. "Указ о мерах по повышению эффективности деятельности государственных СМИ". Kremlin.ru.
  14. "Путин ликвидировал РИА Новости". Lenta. 9 December 2013.
  15. "Sputnik launched to news orbit: Russia's new intl media to offer alternative standpoint". RT. November 11, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  16. "Sputnik launched to news orbit: Russia's new intl media to offer alternative standpoint". rt.com.
  17. 1 2 Laetitia, Peron (20 November 2014). "Russia fights Western 'propaganda' as critical media squeezed". Yahoo! News. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  18. McEwen, Alan (28 September 2015). "Moscow TV station Sputnik News sets up office in Edinburgh". dailyrecord.co.uk.
  19. Sputnik. "Turkey Bans Bureau Chief of Sputnik Turkey". sputniknews.com.
  20. "Russian state news agency Sputnik says site blocked in Turkey". 15 April 2016 via Reuters.
  21. "Turkey lifts ban on Russia's Sputnik news website - LOCAL". Hürriyet Daily News | LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  22. "Pokémon Go : À la recherche d'un Pokémon rare, un adolescent de 17 ans s'introduit à l'Élysée". legorafi.fr.
  23. Sputnik. "Quand le Pokémon de tes rêves habite à l'Élysée". sputniknews.com.
  24. https://sputniknews.com/docs/products/index.html
  25. "About Us". Sputnik. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  26. Double Down, Sputnik, Retrieved: 7 June 2016
  27. "About CEPA – CEPA". cepa.org.
  28. Haldevang, Max de. "A Russian state news organization has suddenly become obsessed with UFOs". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  29. "Und...Action!". Die Zeit. 9 August 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  30. Davidoff, Victor (October 13, 2013). "Soviet Psychiatry Returns". The Moscow Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  31. Judan, Ben (October 1, 2009). "Reporter says criticism of Soviets brought threats". The San Diego Union Tribune.
  32. "Автор: Александр Подрабинек" (in Russian). Radio Liberty.
  33. 1 2 "Dear Mr. Trump, I am not Sidney Blumenthal". Newsweek. Retrieved 2016-10-11.

External links

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