BBG Watch Media

Russian news agency SPUTNIK published an attack on Russian opposition politician Ilya Ponomaryov who is now in the United States and on Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member Matt Armstrong.

SPUTNIK’s report/commentary was in response to BBG Governor Matt Armstrong’s article discussing how Russia’s RT media outlet could be viewed as a foreign agent in the United States.

Read More of Matt Armstrong’s article: RT AS A FOREIGN AGENT: POLITICAL PROPAGANDA IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD, Matt Armstrong, War on the Rocks, May 4, 2014


SPUTNIK: “While ostensibly addressing free media, the recent uptick in anti-Russian rhetoric could have more to do with the abysmal ratings of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. While Voice of America’s website currently ranks 3,828th in Russia, RT sits at the comfortable position of 61st.”

READ MORE: US Uses Suspected Russian Criminal to Push for Tighter Media Control, SPUTNIK, May 6, 2015

We could not determine whether SPUTNIK was using Alexa to show rankings of VOA English website in Russia and RT English website in the United States, but the rankings listed in the SPUTNIK article appear close to what Alexa is showing for VOA and RT. Alexa Internet, Inc. is a California-based subsidiary company of which provides commercial web traffic data.

While SPUTNIK was right about Voice of America’s “abysmal ratings” of web traffic in Russia, Radio Liberty’s web traffic ratings in Russia are much better and not as bad as the SPUTNIK article made them appear to be.

According to Alexa,, VOA’s English language website, has a global rank of 3,742. Also according to Alexa,, RT’s English language website, has a global rank of 465, and 70 rank in Russia.

Alexa is showing that, VOA’s Russian language website, has a global rank of 37,747, and 2,160 in Russia.

According to Alexa,, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Russian language website, is doing much better than VOA Russian website. Radio Liberty Russian website has 7,235 global Alexa rank, and 419 rank in Russia.

VOA and RFE/RL websites are not blocked in Russia as of now. Voice of America and Radio Free Asia (RFA) websites are blocked in China. Radio and TV Marti website is blocked in Cuba. All of these U.S. taxpayer-funded news media outlets serving foreign audiences are overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).

RFE/RL published in English an interview with Ilya Ponomaryov who is one of just a few opposition members of the Russian State Duma and who was attacked in the SPUTNIK article.

READ MORE: Duma Deputy Ponomaryov: ‘I Do Not Intend To Become A Political Emigre’, By Andrei Shary, RFE/RL, April 8, 2015