The Russian prosecutor general has blocked access to two independent media outlets, Echo of Moscow and TV Rain, because of alleged violations over their reporting on the invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, the prosecutor general accused the two outlets of disseminating what it called “information known to be false regarding the actions of Russian servicemen, as part of a special operation to protect the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.”
It also says Echo of Moscow and TV Rain have been posting information which it says calls “for extremism, violence against citizens of the Russian Federation, mass violations of public order and public security.” Authorities in Russia forbid rallying without a permit and may consider broadcasting or reporting specific information on unauthorized rallies to be considered organizing illegal protests.
On Saturday, Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor warned 10 local news outlets that it would restrict access to their publications unless they stop spreading what it calls false information, including references to the military operation in Ukraine as an "attack, invasion or declaration of war.”
In letters sent letters to these outlets, the regulator said it complained about allegedly “false information” they published on the shelling of Ukrainian cities and the death of civilians caused by the Russian armed forces.
The outlets notified were: Echo of Moscow, InoSMI, Mediazona, New Times, TV Rain, Svobodnaya Pressa, Krym.Realii, Novaya Gazeta, Zhurnalist and Lenizdat. Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov won the Nobel Peace prize in 2021. Some of these outlets have been designated by Russian authorities as foreign agents.
“Unless the above inaccurate information is removed, access to these sources will be restricted,” it said in a statement on Saturday, announcing an investigation into the media outlets.