The United States recently denounced the “unprecedented” censorship of Russian media: the Russian government has recently blocked additional opposition websites as well as internet alternative sources of information on the crisis in Ukraine.
“In the past year, the Russian government has approved a series of laws that implemented unprecedented internet media censorship and publication restrictions on the Internet ,” said Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesman of the US department of State.
Thus, the chef editor of Lenta.ru , one of oldest website and most widely read information in Russia , was dismissed for “disseminating documents extremist”. This occurred after an interview on this website of one of the members of Pravy Sektor, a Ukrainian radical nationalist movement that on front line during the events in Kiev.
The Russian authorities have also blocked the blog of Alexei Navalny, an opponent, besides three major websites who had been criticizing the Kremlin.
Roskomnadzor , the supervisory authority of Russian media explained that this opponent’s blog has been blocked, as he has been placed under house arrest since last month and does not have the right to use the Internet.
Also Kasparov.ru , founded by the famous former chess champion and Russian opponent Garry Kasparov, was also inaccessible and blacklisted for “inciting illegal activities and participating in mass rallies that violate public order” , referring to some opposition protests in Russia . Two other sites criticizing the Kremlin EJ.ru and Grani.ru were also not accessible since March 13th from a Russian IP address.
According to the experts, the Ukrainian crisis and the change of power in Kiev, presented mainly by Russian official media as an extremist coup managed by the Western world for geopolitical purposes , has further strengthened the Russian censorship of free media.
Before, internet was one of the few available channels for independent information and free expression.
But since last February, a law allows the order of a prosecutor and not a court decision to block access to any website.
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