UK

Russia Today 'Corrects' Tweet About Ukraine's War With Russia

03/09/2014 16:26 BST | Updated 11/09/2014 15:59 BST

Russia Today, the broadcaster accused of spouting Kremlin propaganda throughout the war in Ukraine, announced that Kiev and Moscow had agreed a ceasefire today... only it didn't.

In a 'The Thick Of It' type moment, RT immediately 'corrected' itself, informing its audience that any ceasefire was in fact impossible, because "Russia isn't a side in the conflict".

Confused? You should be. Ukraine, after all, only just warned that a escalating conflict between itself and Russia could become "a great war" whose dead would be "measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands."

But it appears Ukraine isn't fighting Russia at all. Instead, it's fighting suspiciously well-armed and supplied pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country - so well supplied that they can shoot down a commercial airliner.

This means Russia can deny all involvement while it, in fact, is heavily involved and is trying to destabilise the country it feels threatened by has nothing to do with the internal affairs of Ukraine and is therefore not fighting in any war.

RT initially tweeted that a ceasefire had been agreed after a telephone call between Vladimir Putin and Ukrianian president Petro Poroshenko.

It then quickly posted a 'BREAKING UPDATE' that effectively repudiated its earlier tweet, saying: "Putin, Poroshenko didn't agree on ceasefire as Russia isn't a side in the conflict".

Russia Today's tweets

The broadcaster's article on the ceasefire from earlier today was published in the morning and edited a few hours later - though the article does not state how.

It makes no mention of the comments Barack Obama made in Estonia earlier today, when he said Russia had been sending "tanks and troops and arms and advisers under the guise of separatists" into Ukraine.

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It approvingly quotes Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov who "underlined that this wording (of the ceasefire) is not applicable because Russia isn’t a party to the violence".

"The spokesperson thought it important to point out that because the conflict is an internal one – and not one between two countries," RT reports.

"This view has already been voiced by President Putin last week in Minsk, where he met the Ukrainian leader."

So there.

Though - if Russia is not involved in the war, it raises the question why RT was speaking to a Russian spokesperson for a comment on it in the first place.

RT has previously suffered some highly-public resignations by staff who have criticised its reporting.

UK-based correspondent Sara Firth resigned over its reporting of the loss of MH17, saying: "I'm for the truth."

Anchor Liz Wahl quit live on air in March, saying the broadcaster had been "whitewashing Putin's actions".