Information reaching Naija News House says that Russia Warns Media Over Coverage Of Ukraine War
Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has issued warnings to media outlets in the country over reports describing the ongoing attack on Ukraine as a war.
In a statement on Monday, Roskomnadzor said several independent media outlets had been spreading “unreliable socially significant untrue information” about its assault on Ukrainian cities by Russian forces and civilian deaths.
The regulator demanded that the media refer to the war only as a “special operation in connection with the situation in Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic.”
The warning was directed at Echo of Moscow, InoSMI, Media Zona, New Times, Dozhd, Svobodnay Pressa, Krym.Realii, Novaya Gazeta, Journalist, and Lenizdat. It added that it had opened an inquiry into alleged “violations” and may fine the media up to 5 million rubles.
The move for censorship comes as the assault on Ukraine goes into its fifth day.
Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, commented on the warnings.
“For the past decade, Russian authorities have used a web of vague laws and flimsy pretexts to intimidate and harass independent and dissenting voices,” Mr Williamson said.
“Now they are bluntly imposing censorship combined with a false narrative that they demand everyone must parrot.”
Russia had announced that it would partially limit access to Facebook, in retaliation for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, blocking four Russian state media accounts.
On Saturday, Twitter observed that Russian authorities had restricted access to its services in Russia.