New York, March 5, 2022– In response to the news of Russia’s recent “false information” legislation, internet blocks of social media websites, the shuttering of major independent media outlets, and the exodus of prominent global media outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement on Saturday:
“President Vladimir Putin has plunged Russia into an information dark age by criminalizing independent reporting of his war in Ukraine,” said CPJ Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “Mention of the word ‘invasion’ in a report could now get a journalist sent to jail for years.
“Journalists everywhere must stand in solidarity with their Russian colleagues and foreign correspondents based in Russia in rejecting this barbarous censorship. For his last two decades in power Putin tolerated a handful of critical news outlets that provided a trickle of truth in a sea of state propaganda. But this legislation and website blocking have effectively dried up the free flow of information.”
For more information about the press freedom ramifications around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine see CPJ’s reporting on the conflict.