RT International, based in Moscow, presents around-the-clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, debates, sports news, and cultural programs that it says provide "a Russian viewpoint on major global events".
RT operates as a multilingual service with conventional channels in five languages: the original English-language channel was launched in 2005, the Arabic-language channel in 2007, Spanish in 2009, German in 2014, and French in 2017. RT America (since 2010), RT UK (since 2014), and other regional channels also offer some locally based content.
RT is a brand of "TV-Novosti", an "autonomous non-profit organization", founded by the Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, on 6 April 2005. During the economic crisis in December 2008, the Russian government, headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, included ANO "TV-Novosti" on its list of core organizations of the strategic importance of Russia.
RT has been frequently described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government and its foreign policy. RT has also been accused of spreading disinformation by news reporters, including some former RT reporters.
The United Kingdom media regulator, Ofcom, has repeatedly found RT to have breached its rules on impartiality and of broadcasting "materially misleading" content. RT's editor-in-chief compared it with the Russian Army and Defence Ministry, and talked about it "waging the information war against the entire Western world".
September 2017, RT America was ordered to register as a "foreign agent" with the United States Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under the act, RT will be required to disclose financial information.