The Russian media agency has banned access to The Moscow Times (MT) and Radio France Internationale websites over the Ukraine war coverage.
The Russian communications committee Roskomnadzor has blocked The Moscow Times version in the Russian language while the English version is still available. Roskomnadzor didn’t provide any explanations on this matter.
Previously, MT published an article on the Russian soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine and returned home. Rozkomnadzor considered the article information fake and urged to “use only official Russian sources when covering the situation in Donbas.”
Radio France Internationale’s website isn’t available in French, English, and Russian languages and was accused of “dissemination of false or extremist information.” The Russian authorities previously charged the German newspaper Bild with “posting calls for mass disorders, extremism and participation in unauthorized rallies.”
Foreign media censorship is not new in Russia. Along with The Moscow Times and RFI, Roskomnadzor has blocked independent global media such as Belingcat, Meduza, TJournal, the BBC, etc. Many Russian journalists who broadcast on nongovernmental websites and share unbiased content were added to the ‘foreign agents’ list.
On March 4, Russian President Putin adopted amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation aimed at protecting the factual information about the “special military operation in Ukraine.” The consequences introduced are the criminal responsibility for delivering the misleading information on the “operation” and discrediting the Russian forces, plus fines of up to 5 million rubles.