The BBC World Service will receive £4.1million in emergency aid from the Government to counter disinformation about the war in Ukraine.
The channel received the money to support its Ukrainian and Russian language services in the face of “increasing propaganda from the Russian state”.
At the request of the BBC, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will provide the additional funds to cover urgent and unexpected costs created by the conflict.
The DCMS said the funding will help the BBC move staff and operations to safer locations so they can continue their coverage of the war.
It will also go into the development of new and more widely accessible content to be delivered across a range of channels – including television, radio and digital.
The BBC will also use the money to “fight disinformation” and “help local audiences bypass the Kremlin’s media restrictions and continue to have access to BBC journalism”.
Welcoming the money, BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: “I am extremely proud of our reporting and the courage and resilience of our colleagues as they report this difficult and complex story on a day-to-day basis.
“This additional government funding will allow us to further expand the way we reach audiences in Russia and Ukraine.
“The BBC has identified a huge demand for clear, fact-based, impartial journalism to counter disinformation and our teams work around the clock to bring the best independent journalism to the people.
“This funding will also help us with the immediate need to support staff who have been displaced, many of whom continue to work, providing vital expertise to the whole of the BBC as life changes dramatically around them. We recognize their incredible strength and professionalism.”
Earlier this month, the broadcaster said BBC World News had been shut down in Russia.
Russian authorities have restricted access to foreign and independent media, including major BBC websites, as the country continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow’s parliament recently passed a law making spreading “fake” or “false” news about the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine a criminal offense carrying up to 15 years in prison, prompting the BBC to suspend the work of all of its news journalists temporarily hire support staff in Russia.
Culture Minister Nadine Dorries said: “The Government is providing the BBC with an additional £4.1million in emergency aid to help world service broadcast direct to Ukraine and Russia.
“In scenes reminiscent of 80 years ago, the BBC will ensure that audiences in the region can continue to access independent news in the face of the systemic propaganda of a dictator waging war on European soil.
“It is important that we lift the veil and expose the barbaric actions of Putin’s armed forces.”
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “Britain is calling out Putin’s lies and exposing his propaganda and fake news.
“This new funding will help bolster the BBC’s impartial voice in Russia and Ukraine, which is vital to combating Russian disinformation, and help us win the battle for the airwaves.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/bbc-given-emergency-funding-to-counter-russian-disinformation-on-ukraine-war-41481127.html BBC has provided emergency funding to counter Russian disinformation about the war in Ukraine