From Der Tiger Beat auf der Potomac (thanks Charlie with an assist from MPS patron saint Watertiger) morning email thingie:
— President VLADIMIR PUTIN “clamped down harder Friday on news and free speech than at any time in [his] 22 years in power,” NYT’s Anton Troianovski reports. Effective today, the law criminalizes “false information” about Putin’s war with up to 15 years in prison. In a particularly Orwellian twist, that could even make it illegal to call the war a “war” — the Kremlin says it is a “special military operation.”
— That’s led Western media outlets in the country to move quickly to protect their journalists. Bloomberg News followed the BBC in suspendingtheir reporting in Russia. CNN stopped airing in the country, and ABC and CBS suspended their broadcasts (at least temporarily). WaPo is dropping its bylines and datelines for reporting in Russia to protect its journalists’ safety.
— Russia’s moves to isolate its internet from the rest of the world (and the rest of the world’s moves to isolate Russia) “could fundamentally change the way that Russians get their information and connect — or fail to connect — with the rest of the world,” Emily Birnbaum and Rebecca Kern report. “It’s bringing Putin’s Russia many steps closer to a so-called splinternet in which the West and Russia operate in different online spheres.”
Axios morning email thingie doesn’t want to be left out:
New efforts by the Kremlin to bully the press and silence dissent are forcing independent media and social networks out of the country, Axios’ Sara Fischer writes:
- The BBC and Bloomberg said they’re suspending operations in Russia, and CNN will stop broadcasting there, following a new law threatening to imprison journalists for up to 15 years if they publish what Moscow deems to be “fake” information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- ABC and CBS said they’ll temporarily stop broadcasting from Russia.
Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor (Russian) yesterday blocked the websites of several outlets, including U.S. government-funded VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, for spreading what it called fake news on the “special operation in Ukraine.”
- High-quality Russian independent news agencies are being yanked off the air, forcing journalists to flee the country.
Russia also blocked Facebook entirely yesterday, after partially restricting the social network last week.
Zoom out: Putin’s propaganda push has intensified as protests erupt at home. The Kremlin is relying on state media to sell the war as a success domestically.
That means whatever we learn from inside Russia is going to be suspect at best. Keep your BS Detectors on 10.