On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman Dmitri Peskov commented on the dissolution of the major state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti announced last week, “Every state uses the news media. It’s everywhere. Russia should use it as well. It’d be propaganda in the best sense of the term”. Last week, Putin signed a decree merging RIA-Novosti and Voice of Russia to create a new media conglomerate called Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today). Many saw the move as the latest development in a gradual tightening of state control over the Russian news media, where the state already has a strong presence. The Kremlin appointed controversial television presenter Dmitri Kiselyov, known for his outspoken opinions on gay rights and the current street protests in the Ukraine, to head Rossiya Segodnya.