Russia has blocked an independent TV channel and a liberal radio station for broadcasting “deliberately false information” about Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.
The move comes six days after Russian troops attacked its Western-backed neighbor with escalating violence in the capital Kyiv and the eastern city of Kharkiv.
Russia’s prosecutor general has ordered the country’s media watchdog to “restrict access” to the Dozhd TV channel and Ekho Moskvy radio.
He said the ban stemmed from the “determined and systematic” publication of “information calling for extremist activities, violence” and “deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel” in Ukraine.
Both sites were unavailable in Russia shortly after the announcement, according to AFP reporters.
Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said on Telegram that the radio station had been taken down.
Last year was marked by an unprecedented crackdown on independent and critical voices in Russia.
Dozens of media workers and independent media — including Dozhd — have been designated “foreign agents” by the authorities.
A term with Soviet-era undertones, the statute requires those who wear the label to disclose the label’s funding sources and publications. — including social media posts — with a tag or face fines.