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War in Ukraine: Russian deputies adopt a text punishing prison for “false information” about the army

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A week after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, Russian deputies adopted a text on Friday March 4 which provides for heavy prison sentences and fines for anyone publishing “false information” about the army.

This amendment, adopted at third reading by the lower house of the Duma – the Russian parliament – provides for various penalties of up to 15 years in prison if “false information” has “serious consequences” for the armed forces.

A second separate amendment also adopted on Friday also provides for condemnations for “calls to impose sanctions on Russia”, while harsh Western retaliatory measures weigh on the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

These texts apply to the general population, and not only to information professionals. They also aim to strengthen the repressive arsenal of the authorities who are strengthening their control of information in the midst of an offensive on Ukraine.

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INDEPENDENT MEDIA SANCTIONED

Moreover, the media regulator announced on Friday that it had restricted access to four independent media, including the Russian-language edition of the BBC, at the request of the prosecution.

Regarding the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian authorities have banned the media from using information other than official statements on this subject. They also banned the use of words like “war” and “invasion”, in favor of a “special operation” of limited scope aimed at “protecting” the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine from “genocide”.

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