Russia blocks FRANCE 24’s sister radio RFI site

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Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor on Friday blocked access to French radio station RFI’s website for violating a law banning the dissemination of false or extremist information.

Roskomnadzor “did not specify the reason” for blocking access to the site, according to a article published on the RFI website. Russia’s media watchdog said only that it responded to a request from Russia’s prosecutor general’s office.

RFI’s sites, including the French and Russian sites, have provided round-the-clock coverage of events in Ukraine “since the start of the Russian offensive on February 24”, the article notes.

RFI’s site appeared in Roskomnadzor’s blocked sites database on Friday and AFP journalists in Moscow were unable to access the station’s English, French or Russian sites.

Russia has accelerated its efforts to silence independent media and government opponents of the war in Ukraine, which it calls a “military operation”.

Russian lawmakers recently passed a law providing for up to 15 years in prison for publishing military information deemed false by the government.

Authorities also restricted access to dozens of independent media outlets, also blocking access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Earlier on Friday, Russian authorities blocked access to the Russian-language website of independent newspaper The Moscow Times for its coverage of Ukraine.

The Moscow Times, whose original English version was launched in 1992 by Dutch entrepreneur Derk Sauer, said its Russian service was shut down for what “authorities call a false report about riot police refusing to fight in Ukraine”.

The publication’s English website was not affected.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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