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Russia Signs Off 'Fake News' Law Punishable By Prison

Russia Signs Off 'Fake News' Law Punishable By Prison

Russia's new 'fake news' law, which has been signed off today, means dissenters face jail time of up to 15 years.

Russia has signed a new law that means citizens who spread 'fake news' about the armed forces can be punished by sentences of up to 15 years in prison.

During Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine the Kremlin has been accused of spreading falsehoods about the war, not least their goals for waging it, which the Russian president says are the 'demilitarisation and denazification' of Ukraine.

The Russian version of events about their invasion of Ukraine is drastically different to the rest of the world, but Putin will not tolerate any dissent or disagreement with his view.

To that end, LBC reports that Russia's new law against 'fake news' will uphold the Kremlin's insistence that their troops are in Ukraine on a 'special operation' and their goal is a 'liberation mission' for the people of the country.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin (Alamy)
President of Russia Vladimir Putin (Alamy)

In order to keep a tight control on the flow of information that reaches the Russian public, the Kremlin has banned several foreign news websites, including the BBC, from being accessed.

According to The Independent, they are also shutting down parts of their own media that are not following Putin's line on his invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's media watchdog was reportedly ordered to restrict access to independent television channel Dozhd TV and liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy after they were accused of 'spreading false information' about the war.

Staff at Dozhd TV staged a walkout on Thursday, March 3, after they received a threat of closure from the Russian authorities; staff walked out live on air declaring 'no to war'.

Putin requires the Russian media not to call his invasion of Ukraine an 'assault, invasion, or declaration of war' and any reports which do so must be removed to avoid fines or further punishment.

Russian officials continue to insist their invasion is not an invasion, and according to Reuters have attacked Western media for supposedly failing to report on what they call the 'genocide' of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.

Thousands have been killed and more than a million people have been forced to flee Ukraine since Putin began his invasion.

There have been protests in many Russian cities against the invasion, which the police have responded to by making arrests.

LBC also reports that thousands of Russians are attempting to flee abroad amid fears that Putin's crackdown on his own country will extend to tighter restrictions on their freedom or even implementing martial law.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Russia, Vladimir Putin