Russia’s crackdown on freedom of the press and freedom of expression intensifies

New efforts by the Kremlin to bully the press and silence dissent have forced independent media and social networks out of the country.

why does it matter: The Russians lose access to independent reporting on the war, while the West loses sight of an already isolated leader.

  • people of russia “It is their right to know the death, suffering, and destruction that their government is causing to the people of Ukraine,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.
  • They also have the right to “know the human toll of this foolish war for their soldiers.”

News Leadership: Bloomberg and the BBC say they are suspension of operations In Russia, while CNN, CBS and ABC stopped broadcasting in the country after lawmakers approved a new law on Friday that threatens to jail journalists and individuals for up to 15 years if they disseminate what Moscow considers “fake” information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwaite said in a staff note that the change in the criminal code “makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism within the country”.
  • BBC Director General Tim Davy He said The BBC was not prepared to put journalists “at risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their job”.
  • Russian organizers Warning media At the start of the war, outlets were only allowed to use government-sourced information to report on the invasion.

Communications regulator in Russia Roskomnadzor too He said On Friday, it blocked the websites of several media outlets, including the US government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, for spreading what it called false news about the “special operation in Ukraine”.

  • German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and Medusa, an independent Russian publication based in Latvia, were also banned.
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within Russia, Independent news agencies are ripped off the air, forcing journalists to flee the country.

  • Roskomnadzor on Tuesday specific Access to independent Russian channels Radio Ekho Moskvy and Dozhd TV to share what they claimed was false information about the “intentionally” invasion.
  • Both outlets, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs He saidhas a good reputation for providing high-quality reports within Russia and abroad.

Russia too prevented Facebook Friday in full, after a partial restriction on the social network last week.

  • “Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their daily ways of communicating with family and friends and silenced from speaking out,” said Nick Clegg, Meta’s head of global affairs. statment Friday in response to the ban.
  • Technology companies were limit The arrival of Russian state media in response to Western government requests. Several companies have restricted Russian state media from buying ads globally. Google and Apple have removed RT and Sputnik apps from their app stores globally.

The Big Picture: Putin’s propaganda intensified as protests erupted at home.

  • The Kremlin relies on state media to promote the war as a domestic success, even as the West continues to punish Moscow with punitive sanctions.

what do you want to watch: Russian pressure to limit information now may affect the West’s ability to accurately understand what is happening in the country for years to come.

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