Staunton, Mar. 22 – A law passed three weeks ago allows the Russian government to block the release to the public of any information the authorities want to hide. According to the Be Exact portal, at least 14 ministries and agencies have already done so, with many of them having begun to impose restrictions on the release of data even before the law was passed.
The situation with regard to Russian government data has been deteriorating since 2014, the portal says; but it took a sharp turn downward during the first six months of Putin’s war in Ukraine and is now set to take yet another plunge as a result of this law (tochno.st/materials/otkrytykh-dannykh-v-rossii-stanovitsya-vse-menshe).
Some agencies have stopped issuing all data, others have released only a little compared to what was the case earlier, still others are releasing data but doing so without advertising that fact, and some, having stopped releasing data earlier are now releasing it again, apparently either because the economy needs the data or because the ministry can easily falsify it.
This variegated result, typical of the way the Putin regime does many things, allows officials to dismiss criticism that they aren’t releasing data even though that is exactly what they are doing – and in ways that suggest the veil of secrecy is going to be cast over ever more subjects the longer the war goes on.