According to Ukraine’s center for strategic communications, French company Eutelsat, which is 22 percent owned by the French government, is providing satellite signal coverage to Russia despite sanctions. 

Russian TV propaganda is critically dependent on Western technology. Today, millions of Russians have access to these channels thanks to the French satellite signal.

According to Eutelsat’s website, the company’s satellites reach 50 percent of homes in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In doing so it “brings fresh and expanded broadcasting resources over Siberia to support expanded digital services in the Russian Federation.”

According to the investigation of the “Leave Russia” project, established by the KSE Institute and Ukrainian IT volunteers, Russian direct to home (DTH) operators FSUE Kosmicheskaya Svyaz, NTV Plus, and Tricolor TV use the Eutelsat 36B satellite.

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The company receives six percent of its revenue from Russia.

The Eutelsat satellite also broadcasts Russian news channels to foreign audiences. In particular, the RT Arabic channel, unlike other operators RT France, RT UK, and RT DE, managed to avoid European sanctions and freely broadcast through Eutelsat satellites to North Africa and the Middle East.

Among subscribers of Russian TV services provided by Eutelsat are citizens of Ukraine, and residents of regions bordering Russia where a quality Ukrainian television signal is unavailable.

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On Sep. 9, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asked French broadcasting regulator ARCOM to order Eutelsat to stop carrying three Russian TV channels which are spearheading the Kremlin’s war propaganda.

“France cannot tolerate a situation in which operators under its jurisdiction are contributing to the Kremlin’s war propaganda in violation of their legal obligations. France’s broadcasting regulator can end this situation, and we call on it to act without delay,” Christophe Deloire, the secretary general of RSF, stated.

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