Foreign media organizations are removing their employees from Russia as a precaution or suspending their journalistic activities in the country. The British public broadcaster BBC has temporarily suspended work in Russia today, because the organization does not want journalists to run the risk of prosecution after the introduction of new legislation.
Several Dutch correspondents have also left Russia for the time being. NOS correspondent Iris de Graaf calls “The working conditions in Russia are too uncertain at the moment” and RTL Nieuws correspondent Eva Hartog has temporarily exchanged her location in Moscow for Turkey. The Swedish public broadcaster SVT has also recalled its correspondent.
The new law, signed by President Putin tonight, says that anyone who knowingly spreads “false information” about the war will now face up to 15 years in prison. According to the Kremlin, Russia is “inundated with a flood of fake news” and NATO and foreign intelligence agencies are responsible.
BBC via shortwave
In Russia, international media are also increasingly difficult to watch or listen to. For example, the sites of the BBC, the German world broadcaster Deutsche Welle and the American world broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty can no longer be reached. Furthermore, Facebook has been blocked, as has the critical news site Meduza, which operates from Latvia. Several critical channels in Russia are also off the air, such as the radio station Echo Moskvi. It was also announced tonight that Twitter will be curtailed.
On Wednesday, the BBC decided to distribute English-language news broadcasts four hours a day via shortwave, a frequency band that allows long-distance broadcasting, which was widely used in Europe during the Second World War and the Cold War. Nearly 15 years ago, the British broadcaster in Europe stopped shortwave broadcasting.
The broadcasts of the British broadcaster can be received in Ukraine and parts of Russia.