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Russia blocks Facebook and jails for “lying” about the military

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In about ten days, Russia went from dictatorship to dictatorship. Moscow on Friday blocked Facebook, restricted access to Twitter, cracked down on the media and imposed heavy prison sentences for spreading “false information about soldiers”. In the complete occupation of Ukraine.

The measures taken strengthen the arsenal of the authorities To control the story What are they doing to the Russian people about the occupation of Ukraine, which has been presented as a limited activity aimed at protecting Russian-speaking Ukrainians from “genocide”?

An amendment introduces various punishments punishable by up to 15 years in prison for disseminating information aimed at defaming the Russian armed forces. Gives a second ‘s call for “sanctions against Russia” in the face of harsh Western retaliation for the occupation of Ukraine.

These statements, which apply to the media and to Russian and foreign individuals, came into force after the approval of the Russian Parliament and the approval of President Vladimir Putin in the evening.

Foreign media are packing their bags

Free Russian newspaper Novaya Gazette “Forced to remove a lot of content” to avoid sanctions, but wants to “continue working”. Internationally, the Bloomberg News Agency and the BBC (British Public Broadcasting) have announced the suspension of their journalists’ activities and the American news channel CNN has stopped broadcasting its programs in Russia.

The new law “seems to have been written to convict all freelance journalists, and it simply makes it impossible for them to maintain any resemblance to journalism in the country,” said Bloomberg editor John Mikhailthwhite. The BBC will continue to report in Russian from outside the country.

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Facebook blocked

On Friday, media regulator Ross Komnadzor ordered the immediate closure of Facebook, accusing it of “discriminating” against Russian media outlets such as the Defense Ministry, the television Sweden or the Rio Novosti news agency.

The American group confirmed that Russia’s social network would no longer function without a VPN, lamenting that “millions of ordinary Russians will soon lose credible information.”

The regulator has begun to “restrict access” to Twitter, but the platform told AFP it “should not see any significant difference at the moment” with access difficulties it has already encountered for a week.

The authority had earlier announced restrictions on access to the BBC, German international radio, television Dutch Valle (DW), the independent Russian site Medusa (based in Riga, Latvia), Radio Swaboda, the Russian branch of the RFE / RL, and the Voice of America. And other untitled news sites.

At the site, the free internet television channel Dodge announced on Thursday that it was suspending its operations and that the emblematic radio station Echo Mosque (Echo of Moscow) had been shut down after their sites were blocked.

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