Journalists and media experts rarely criticize the Kremlin’s official position in Russia’s heavily regulated media landscape. The Indian Express, a news medium, examines Russia’s communications strategy and how the country’s assault on local and autonomous media outlets has been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.
Explaining Putin’s Censorship Bill
Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, passed a disputed censorship bill into law a week after invading Ukraine. According to CNN, the new rule prohibits the dissemination of “false” news concerning the Ukraine invasion and carries a penalty of up to 15 years of imprisonment for those found guilty. However, a clear definition of “fake” news remains unclear.
With the Kremlin asserting that the invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation,” the law might make it unlawful for a news organization to refer to it as a “war.”
Another regulation makes it illegal to cover the Russian military in a way that does not support the government or is perceived as demeaning to the armed services.
Repression of Foreign Media
The newest censorship campaign in Russia allegedly began on February 26 when the country’s internet service was disrupted. Users began to express dissatisfaction with their difficulty in accessing Facebook and Twitter.
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator, has accused Facebook of “discrimination” targeting Russian media and government information resources. According to the agency, Facebook’s recent limitations on the Russian news outlet RT and some other state-controlled media infringed on Russian legislation.