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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tbilisi Fights Back With Russian TV Channel

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia plans to launch a Russian-language television channel targeting ethnic minorities across the Caucasus, in its latest challenge to Moscow’s influence in the strategically important region.

“Its main goal is to talk about national minorities living in this region,” said Gia Chanturia, head of Georgia’s public broadcaster.

Chanturia said the plan was in its early stages and was spurred in part by the situation after the war with Russia.

He said the channel would probably begin broadcasting via the Internet before moving to satellite.

Chanturia flatly denied media reports that self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky would finance the project, saying the claims were “if not strange, then very stupid.” Berezovsky also denied involvement, saying by telephone: “This is not true. I repeat, it is not true.”

Chanturia said the channel would be funded from the Georgian budget and would contain news from across the region.

Georgian media reports say the project will involve a number of high-profile Russian journalists known for their criticism of the Russian leadership.