Russian-owned Sputnik starts broadcasting in Georgia’s breakaway region

Some assessed it as "yet another compliant outlet to trumpet the Kremlin line"., 09 Dec 2014 - 12:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Kremlin’s new media brand Sputnik has launched its website and begun radio broadcasting in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region, which is currently occupied by Russia.

The Sputnik-Abkhazia Director Inal Lazba said the new "multimedia hub” was going to be a "major project”, bringing "round-the-clock news coverage” to the region in the Abkhaz and Russian languages in a variety of formats.

He claimed it would provide "objective information” to its listeners and readers. However the station has been criticized by the international community as "yet another compliant outlet to trumpet the Kremlin line".

Sputnik is a Kremlin-initiated large-scale media brand of Russia Today, a state owned news agency in Russia.

Sputnik radio stopped broadcasting in Tbilisi last month after a study by Georgia’s National Communication Commission said Sputnik was "not a broadcasting license holder, nor the authorized undertaking”.

Meanwhile, Sputnik also announced it planned to broadcast in Georgia’s other breakaway region – Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) in the local language.

According to, Sputnik had multimedia centres in London, Washington, D.C., New Delhi, Cairo, Montevideo, Beijing, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Paris, Buenos Aires, Belgrade, Helsinki, Minsk, Kiev, Tashkent, Astana, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Sukhumi, Tskhinvali, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Baku and Chisinau, and had anywhere from 30 to 100 staff who were all local professionals.