Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during his visit to the new studio complex of the state-owned English-language Russia Today television network in Moscow, on June 11, 2013. AFP PHOTO/  POOL/ YURI KOCHETKOV        (Photo credit should read YURI KOCHETKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

UK Kills Banking for RT Propaganda Network, Putin Pawns Run to Its Aid

By Heat Street Staff | 10:04 am, October 17, 2016

RT, the Russian propaganda broadcaster funded by the Kremlin, has had its banking services axed in the UK.

The station threw a collective fit on Monday after receiving a letter from its bank, NatWest, which said that it would stop facilitating its financial activities.

Putin’s supporters in the British political system – whom Heat Street profiled just last Friday – have rallied to the defence of the station, claiming that the move is a violation of free speech.

NatWest – part of the RBS group, which is owned mostly by the UK government – has yet to comment publicly on the move.

RT says it was given no explanation for the decision in a letter that one of its presenters termed “very vague, very British”:

It came the day after Wikileaks and Julian Assange complained loudly about his internet connection going down, and blamed it on the British government:

The UK government directed Heat Street‘s questions to the UK Treasury – who waited for hours before pointing to a statement from the Prime Minister’s spokesman claiming the government had no influence over the decision.

Meanwhile, admirers of the station had already flooded Twitter to condemn the British government:

The BBC has also come under fire for its reporting of the situation, which some see as overly hostile.

However, behind closed doors the Corporation is happy to rub shoulders with RT bosses.

This summer Heat Street revealed that BBC bosses handed the station tickets to Wimbledon, where they enjoyed watching Andy Murray compete.