The BBC’s website, Facebook and Twitter were all blocked in Russia overnight.
After sanctions were approved by the Russian parliament, this move was made “foreigners who infringe on the rights of Russian citizens.”These sanctions include asset freezes, bans on companies that operate in the country, and bans on foreign investment.
The BBC’s director-general Tim Davie said in response:
“Truth is often the first casualty of war. In a conflict where disinformation and propaganda is rife, there is a need for factual and independent news people can trust.”
Radio Free Europe, and Maduza, the largest Russian news site in exile, were also banned.
Yesterday, the BBC announced it would suspend all Russian journalists’ work.
“This legislation appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism,”Davie agreed. “It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development.
“Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia. The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs.”
The Corporation started broadcasting on shortwave radio frequencies in Russia, Ukraine.
Russia also claimed that Facebook was banned. This was due to restrictions on media access.
Sir Nick Clegg, vice-president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said: “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. We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organise for action.”
Twitter is also affected.
The Russian parliament also adopted a bill to make spreading the virus a crime. “fake”Oder “false” news about the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. This can lead to up 15 years in prison.