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Wed 3 Oct 2007 12:00 AM

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Russian TV launches Arabic version for Middle East

Rusiya Al-Yaum, the first Russian TV channel in Arabic and a new window to modern Russia for the Arab world was officially launched last month after a test period of three months.

Rusiya Al-Yaum, the first Russian TV channel in Arabic and a new window to modern Russia for the Arab world was officially launched last month after a test period of three months.

Speaking to journalists in Cairo, Sergey Frolov, director general of parent company ANO TV-Novosti, said the 20-hour news and current affairs satellite channel will address Russian, international and Middle East news events with a perspective that is sensitive to the region's culture.

"There has been a need for this channel for a long time," Frolov said. "The integration of mass media has grown to become a global trend and Russia is also involved in this process. Russia enjoys strong economic and cultural relations with Arab countries, and this is an opportunity to explain how Russia understands international developments and to share the views of its people."

Planning for the Arabic-language Russian TV station began in February 2006 following the success of Russia Today, launched in December 2005, which broadcasts in English. Rusiya Al-Yaum has more than 500 staff, around 100 of whom are drawn from across North Africa and the Middle East. The channel's editorial team includes journalists working on the ground in Lebanon, Palestine and the Occupied Territories, Iraq, Egypt, France, Britain and the United States.

Rusiya Al-Yaum broadcasts from Moscow with three production studios and a virtual studio. The news channel can be accessed on the BADR 4, NILESAT 103 and HOT BIRD 6 satellite frequencies.

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