Russia Passes Law that Declares Unauthorized News a Crime, Blocks Access to Apple and Google App Stores, Facebook, Twitter

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Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky – Dance of the Little Swans broadcast as Russian TV station ‘Dozhd’ (TV Rain) declared “no war” and went off the air, similar to the broadcast of Swan Lake by Soviet state TV around the time of the failed coup attempt by communist hardliners to take control of the country from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in August of 1991. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Russia parliament on Friday, March 4, 2022 passed a law that makes publishing “fake” news a crime, according to a release from the government of Russia.

The new law, which is expected to be signed by Vladimir Putin on Saturday, March 5, 2022, requires journalists to verify their reports on the invasion of Ukraine with official government sources.




The law prohibits the words “war, “invasion,” and “attacks” from being used in published articles.

Official government releases have been communicating to the Russian people that the military is doing everything in its power to avoid civilian deaths during its “special military operation.”

Russian government communications have been proven to be lies as videos on Twitter, TikTok and Facebook show an entirely different experience in Ukraine.

A violation of the law could result in the imprisonment of journalists from 3 to 15 years.




Russia has also blocked the viewing of most or all website under the .ru domain. Even the official website of the government of Russia was not accessible from the United States.

Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor, blocked BBC, Deutsche Welle, Facebook, Twitter, along with Apple and Google’s app stores were all blocked overnight on March 3-4, 2022 according to GlobalCheck.net.

SCREEN SHOT

Russia's official website government.ru was not accessible from the United States
Russia’s official website government.ru was not accessible from the United States.




On Thursday, March 3, 2022, the U.S. Department of State announced that Russia is engaged in an unprovoked war on Ukraine. At home (in Russia), the Kremlin is engaged in a full assault on media freedom and the truth, and Moscow’s efforts to mislead and suppress the truth of the brutal invasion are intensifying.

On March 1, 2022, Russia’s Prosecutor General ordered the communications authority RosKomNadzor to restrict access to the independent outlets Radio Ekho Moskvy and Dozhd TV, blocking their websites and ability to broadcast. The outlets were baselessly accused of “calling for extremist activity and violence” and sharing “deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel in Ukraine.” Ekho Moskvy has been respected for its even-handed treatment of breaking news since its founding 32 years ago, and, until yesterday, its broadcasts reached some 1.8 million daily listeners throughout Russia and beyond. Dozhd, which has been operating for more than a decade, is similarly known for high-quality reporting.




Before a total block of western social media, Russia’s government was throttling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms that tens of millions of Russia’s citizens rely on to access independent information and opinions and to connect with each other and the outside world. These partial blockages further limit where and how Russian citizens can see and share evidence of the truth of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. RosKomNadzor has threatened to block other online platforms and Golos Ameriki (VOA Russian) if they do not comply with requests to take down posts reporting on Russia’s invasion, according to the U.S. Department of State.

The people of Russia did not choose this war. Putin did. They have a right to know about the death, suffering and destruction being inflicted by their government on the people of Ukraine. The people of Russia also have a right to know about the human costs of this senseless war to their own soldiers. We call upon Putin and his government to honor Russia’s international obligations and commitments, to immediately cease this bloodshed, withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s territory, and to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of their own citizens.

— The U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State was aware that on Friday, Russia’s Kremlin-dominated parliament would gather in a special session to consider a bill that would make “unofficial” reporting on Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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