Russia media guide

  • Published
A woman looks at Russian President Vladimir Putin on a screenImage source, Getty Images

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 nearly all independent media outlets in Russia have shut down, been forced to close, or have left the country to operate from exile.

Top state-controlled domestic TV channels have cleared their schedules for current affairs programmes spreading anti-Ukrainian, anti-Western material.

There appears to have been a halt to TV's long-term decline as Russians' most-preferred source of news

New laws have brought in terms of up to 15 years in prison for spreading "knowingly false" reports about the "special military operation" and the foreign activities of Russian state bodies

Meta was designated an "extremist organisation" and outlawed; the use of Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram is now permitted only if the user is not engaged in illegal activity.

Earlier, 2021 saw an unprecedented crackdown on independent and opposition media and journalists, with the increased use of controversial "foreign agent" and extremism laws, forcing journalists to leave the country.

Also that year, the Kremlin-linked insurance firm Sogaz and Gazprom-Media took control of the digital giant VK, which runs Russia's most popular social network.

The Kremlin's control over mass media in Russia, including online media, is near complete, and war and other foreign news-related content on popular Russian online platforms is broadly in line with the state's messaging.

There were 124 million internet users by July 2022, 85% of the population ( 



  • Rossiya 1 - national network, run by state-owned Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK)
  • Channel One - national network, 51% owned by state, 49% by private shareholders
  • NTV - national network, owned by state-run Gazprom
  • Centre TV - owned by Moscow city government
  • Ren TV - Moscow-based commercial station with strong regional network, majority-owned by media holding NMG
  • RT - state-funded, international English-language news channel, via satellite


  • Radio Rossii - national network run by state-owned Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK)
  • Vesti FM - state-owned, news and talk
  • Ekho Moskvy - editorially-independent, majority owned by state-run Gazprom
  • Mayak - state-run national network
  • Russkoye Radio - major private network, music-based

News agencies/internet

  • TASS - state-owned news agency, pages in English
  • Interfax - private news agency, pages in English
  • - popular online news source
  • The Moscow Times - English-language news site, successor to now defunct newspaper
  • - major portal
  • Sputnik - state-run international-facing multimedia platform; services in many languages
  • - leading search engine
  • VKontakte - leading social network

Related Topics