A view of the RFE/RL headquarters in Prague
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has opened a new bureau in the Latvian capital, Riga, as part of its efforts to counter Russian disinformation and censorship.
RFE/RL President and CEO Jamie Fly expressed gratitude to Latvia, saying "we are excited to be able to work together to tackle Russia's malign influence and provide hope to those who are still denied freedom."
Latvian President Egils Levits, U.S. Ambassador to Latvia John Carwile, and other dignitaries were expected to attend the opening of the bureau, which will eventually host facilities for Current Time, a 24/7 Russian-language news platform run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.
The Riga office is expected to become one of the company’s largest reporting hubs and will produce Russian-language content, including investigative reports and non-news programming as well as Current Time’s morning show.
It will also produce Russian-language content for audiences in the Baltic countries, wider Europe, and other countries, including a daily news program covering the Baltic region aimed at countering Russian disinformation about the three European Union and NATO members that were once part of the Soviet Union.
RFE/RL closed its offices in Russia in March 2022 in the wake of the Kremlin's decades-long assault on independent media. Since Moscow launched its massive unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, most independent national media outlets have either closed down or left the country under government pressure.
Earlier this week, RFE/RL opened a new office in Vilnius, Lithuania, to target audiences in Belarus with content in both Belarusian and Russian in a bid to counter state propaganda and censorship by the government of authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media. It distributes information in 27 languages to 23 countries where media freedom is restricted or professional journalism is underdeveloped.