Putin Censors Journalists, Media Pulls The Plug
Putin Censors Journalists, Media Pulls The Plug
Journalists will be fined and jailed for up to fifteen years if they report anything other than the approved Russian narrative. That is the law that Putin forced through the Kremlin on Friday.
Several major news networks said they would stop broadcasting from Russia Friday after Moscow moved to imprison journalists who publish stories that deviate from President Vladimir Putin’s false war narrative.
CBS News, ABC News, CNN, Bloomberg, the BBC and the CBC announced they were curbing their coverage in Russia amid the country’s crackdown on news and free speech.
I’ll admit, I chuckled just a little bit at CNN’s concern over being labeled Fake News. I wasn’t the only one. That said, for a country to decide to not only censor journalists, but pass a law criminalizing their reporting is quite concerning. All media in Russia hasn’t been allowed to use the phrases “war” nor “invasion” in their reporting. But now to consider any reporting that doesn’t fit the chosen propaganda as criminal and threaten the journalists with prison? Putin sure seems to be acting like North Korea now. Heck, even Facebook and Twitter are blocked.
According to Bloomberg, the Russian measure will place prison sentences of up to 15 years for those charged with distributing “fake news” about the troops or calling for sanctions against Russia.
Two liberal local broadcasters, Ekho Moskvy and TV Rain, went off the air Thursday under pressure from prosecutors who’d demanded that access be restricted because of their coverage of Putin’s war in Ukraine. The websites of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Meduza, an independent news group, weren’t accessible Friday. Facebook and Twitter were blocked by the country’s communications regulator, Interfax reported.
Per Fox, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president of global affairs, said in a statement on Thursday, “soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out.”
Which makes it incredibly difficult for the Russian people to communicate with family and friends outside of the country. As for those brave Russians, including the elderly who are protesting the war, they face arrest and jail as well.
Russian police arrest an elderly woman in St. Petersburg. Why? She spoke out in favor of peace.— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) March 2, 2022
Only a cowardly regime silences and brutalizes members of its society for speaking their minds. pic.twitter.com/BHD6DGTLzx
While I was concerned about folks such as Lindsey Graham calling for Russians to oust Putin, one reason being Putin would turn it into major propaganda, Putin’s increasingly erratic commentary and the censoring of journalists is highly concerning.
“There is no need to escalate the situation, impose restrictions. We fulfill all obligations,” he said. “If someone does not want to cooperate with us within the framework of single cooperation, and by doing so harms themselves, they will, of course, harm us, too.”
The guy is really good at gaslighting, but the cracks are definitely showing. China is backing away from him, and the sanctions are beginning to hurt. Although, I do have to wonder how much of a hit to their bottom line it will take before the oligarchs start pressuring Putin to quit while he’s behind.
"The West’s dependence on Russian energy is making a mockery of the whole idea of sanctions. We won’t play football, but are transferring billions to Putin for gas and oil" | ✍️ Matthew Parris https://t.co/hhbdxkopH8— The Times (@thetimes) March 4, 2022
Exactly. Then again, we have a folks like Jen Psaki running her mouth and essentially propping up Putin with her commentary.
There’s another explanation for this latest move by Putin. He’s losing the propaganda war within his own country.
There are plenty of media angles to this war but it’s gotta be driving Putin nuts that, after decades of positioning himself as the paragon of masculinity, he’s losing that storyline to a comedian who won a ballroom dance competition in a pink shirt. https://t.co/J3P1OtFz6b— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) March 5, 2022
This from Michael McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia, make sense as well.
Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said Friday the move showed desperation by Putin, who is said to be holed up in the Ural Mountains, fuming at the resistance his army is facing in Ukraine — and at home.
“Obviously Putin is shutting these people down because he is afraid. He wouldn’t be shutting them down if everything was going peachy keen,” McFaul said during a call with reporters and experts hosted by Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center. “This is an indicator of his state of mind.”
Yes, if everything is going SO WELL, why is Putin censoring journalists? If everything is proceeding according to plan, why threaten journalists with years of jail time if they report wrong think? We can only surmise that all isn’t peachy keen in Putin land, hence the censorship and continued threats towards journalists and Ukraine.
Feature Photo Credit: Original artwork by Victory Girls Darleen Click