Saturday, May 14, 2022

Censorship in Russia Now at Level ‘Not Seen Since Soviet Times,’ Reporters without Frontiers Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 2 – The international media watchdog group, Reporters without Frontiers, says in its annual report that censorship in Russia has now reached a level “not seen since Soviet times” and that the repression of journalism in that country now is greater than in neighboring Belarus.

            Since last year, the group says, Russia has fallen from 150th to 155th place in its rating of 180 countries and now ranks between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, the worst ranking it has had since RWF began its rankings ( site_ANALYSE RÉGIONALE 2022 RU.pdf).

            The situation, already dire since the imprisonment of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, has become worse since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine, with Moscow seeking to establish total control over all information sources by introducing military censorship, blocking media, and persecuting journalists, forcing many of them into emigration.

            All independent television channels, except for those offering only entertainment, and all radio stations have been brought under tight control. Many print media outlets which had functioned independently have been forced to close. Western media has been blocked, and Russian journalists engage in self-censorship to avoid imprisonment (

            Russian forces are applying the same mass censorship in areas they have occupied in Ukraine, and where Moscow has sufficient influence, it is forcing neighboring countries, such as Belarus to follow Russia’s approach, thus extending the censorship in Russia to surrounding countries, Reporters without Frontiers concludes.

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