Russian news agency to open 29 centers abroad

MOSCOW -- The Russian international news news agency "Russia Today" (MIA Rossiya Segodnya) is opening offices in 29 countries, including Serbia.

Each will soon have its own website in the language of the country where it is located, while radio stations will be launched in the spring. The website in Serbia will report on domestic events, while foreign policy coverage will be in accordance with the policy of Russia.

Head of the Belgrade center will be Ljubinka Milinčić, a former Moscow correspondent for the weekly NIN and a reporter with the daily Politika. The office will employ 30 people.

"We have a need for the Russian point of view, because for more than 20 years the Western media have worked in our country. Almost all media outlets have been bought. In Serbia, there is almost no Serbian media, and it will be very good to consider the word of Russia, the Russian view on a situation," said Milinčić.

According to her, "it is particularly important at this time, when relations in the world are changing."

The official presentation of Rossiya Segodnya's foreign centers will be held in Moscow next week.

"Our core audience are people in the world, and there are, I am convinced, more than a billion who are shaking with American propaganda that fills air waves, news agencies, newspapers, TV," the agency's General Director Dmitry Kiselyov told the Russia 24 broadcaster.

According to him, "they brazenly violate international law, change the truth and facts, trying to literally zombify people."

Russia 24 noted tat the the offices about to launch will not be merely "correspondents' points" but "media centers".

"It became obvious that it is unproductive to be reporting from Moscow in various languages ​​in order to win over audiences in other countries. Working in Moscow, journalists cannot be acquainted well enough with local circumstances and local people," said editor in chief of Rossiya Segodnya Margarita Simonyan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree last December liquidating RIA Novosti and Voice of Russia, forming instead the new agency, and said this was necessary to make best use of public expenditures.

The reasoning of the decision stated that the goal was "increasing the efficiency of state-owned media." The document implied that the aim of the agency was to be reporting abroad on state politics and public life of Russia.