RT in Europe and beyond

The Wannabe Elite of the Anti-Elites

Publication project of the Centre for Democratic Integrity

Edited by Dr. Anton Shekhovtsov


On the 6th of September 2022, the Centre for Democratic Integrity presented its new research report, “RT in Europe and beyond”, at the Press Club Brussels. The presentation panel included:

  • MEP Michael Gahler (CDU/EPP, Germany)
  • MP Maria Mezentseva (Sluha narodu, Ukraine)
  • Anton Shekhovtsov (Centre for Democratic Integrity, Austria)
  • Silvia Stöber (ARD, Germany)
  • Hugo Littow (LEcho, Belgium)

The Russian state-controlled “Russia Today” media network was founded in 2005 and later emerged as the Kremlin’s primary instrument of influencing international audiences. The network’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan openly admitted that it was waging an information war against the West and compared RT to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Especially since 2009, when Russia Today was re-organised into RT, this media network became notorious for targeting European and other societies with polarising and divisive rhetoric, for promoting and amplifying conspiracy theories, spreading disinformation, and subverting liberal democracy.

The report “RT in Europe and beyond” is a result of the collective endeavour of academics, journalists, experts and members of civil society, who produced the first detailed exploration of RT and its services in English, French, German and Spanish languages, as well as RT’s problematic reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and use of conspiracy theories.


Individual chapters of the report can be found below.