US television stations CNN and Bloomberg will suspend broadcasts from Russia, as will CBC/Radio-Canada, following the new Russian law that imposes penalties of up to 15 years on the media.
“CNN will stop broadcasting the broadcast in Russia as we continue to assess the situation and our next steps forward,” the station’s spokesperson told TVNewser.
CNN’s decision to suspend coverage from Russia comes hours after the BBC announced it would temporarily suspend its operations in the country.
Like Britain’s BBC, CNN will continue to cover Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but its journalists will do so from outside the country.
Bloomberg will also temporarily suspend the work of its journalists within Russia, after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalizes independent reporting in the country.
The Russian parliament today passed a law that provides for heavy sanctions for distributing what it considers to be “false information about the army”.
The Duma (lower house) unanimously approved amendments to the penal code with heavy fines and prison sentences, ranging from 10 to 15 years, for the dissemination of “false information” about the actions of the armed forces.
Prison sentences of up to five years are foreseen for “public actions” that seek to discredit the use of the Russian armed forces in the “defense of the interests of Russia and its citizens, in the preservation of international security and peace”. Appeals to other countries to establish sanctions against Russia will now be punishable by up to three years in prison.
“With great regret, we have decided to temporarily suspend our news in Russia,” Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said today.
“The change in the penal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism within the country,” he argued.
The law passed today is the latest step in a massive media crackdown in Russia.
Two liberal local broadcasters, Ekho Moskvy and TV Rain, went off the air on Thursday under pressure from prosecutors who demanded that access be restricted due to coverage of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
By the end of the day, the websites of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Meduza, an independent media group, were inaccessible.
CBC/Radio-Canada also announced today the temporary suspension of its journalists in Russia, following the new law.
“To guarantee the safety of our journalists and our collaborators in Moscow, we have temporarily suspended our journalistic activities in Russia, time to clarify the scope of the new law”, explained the radio and television group, in a statement.
Social networks Facebook and Twitter were blocked today in Russia.
Source: with agencies