Ofcom has opened 15 investigations into Kremlin-backed RT, formerly known as Russia Today, the U.K. media regulator said in a statement.
The investigations relate to 15 editions of the hourly News program which were broadcast between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. on February 27, Ofcom said.
“Given the serious on-going situation in Ukraine, we will be concluding our investigations into RT as a matter of urgency,” Chief Executive Melanie Dawes said.
It comes after U.K. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries last week asked Ofcom to review RT’s broadcasts in the U.K., warning in a letter that it was “demonstrably part of Russia’s global disinformation campaign” during the Ukraine crisis.
“We have observed a significant increase in the number of programs on the RT service that warrant investigation under our Broadcasting Code,” Ofcom said.
Under U.K. rules, broadcasters must take “additional steps” to preserve due impartiality and give due weight to a wide range of significant views when dealing with major matters such as the crisis in the Ukraine, Ofcom said.
“When reporting on an armed conflict, we recognize it can be difficult for broadcasters to verify information and events, but it is imperative that they make every effort to do so. They must also explain clearly to audiences where there is uncertainty or where events are disputed,” Dawes added.