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Pro-Russian Crimean Tatar TV Channel Starts Satellite Broadcasting

Crimea's de facto authorities say the purpose of the Millet (Nation) TV station is to counter "anti-Russian propaganda." (file photo)

A new television channel in the Crimean Tatar language has started satellite broadcasts from Russia-annexed Crimea where the Russia-imposed government has shut down virtually all independent Crimean Tatar news organizations.

Ruslan Balbek, a deputy prime minister of the de facto government, said the aim of the Millet (Nation) channel was to counter "anti-Russian propaganda."

The Crimean Tatar community protested in August when the channel was official registered, labeling it a "pro-Kremlin propaganda tool." The channel began test broadcasting in September.

Its programs will now be transmitted via Russia's Yamal 401 satellite to Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and Turkey, the channel's Director General Seyran Mambetov said on April 1.

Exactly one year ago, on April 1, 2015, Crimea's Russia-backed authorities shut down Crimean Tatars' long-serving television channel, ATR TV, and its several affiliates.

That move was condemned by the United States, European Union, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Amnesty International as further intimidation of the peninsula's Crimean Tatars.

Based on reporting by Rossiya 24 and TASS