Fri, 14 June 2024

Russia: last independent TV station closed

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“Everything that’s not propaganda is being eliminated,” a Nobel Prize winning editor said as Russian authorities moved to control the narrative in the Ukraine war silencing the last notes of dissonance. 

On Thursday, the pillars of Russia’s independent broadcast media collapsed under pressure from the state, reports the New York Times.  Echo of Moscow, the freewheeling radio station founded by Soviet dissidents in 1990 and that symbolised Russia’s new freedoms, was “liquidated” by its board. TV Rain, the youthful independent television station that calls itself “the optimistic channel” said it would suspend operations indefinitely.

Dmitri Muratov, the journalist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said that his newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which survived the murders of six of its journalists, could be on the verge of shutting down as well.

TV Rain on Thursday after the independent television channel said it would suspend operations indefinitely.Credit…Nanna Heitmann for The New York Times

“Everything that’s not propaganda is being eliminated,” Mr. Muratov said.

Russian Parliament plans to introduce legislation today to make news considered about Russia’s war in Ukraine perceived to be “fake” punishable by prison sentences of up to 15 years. The Russian authorities have already made it clear that the very act of calling it a “war”, instead of the preferred Kremlin term, “special military operation” is considered disinformation.

“We’re going to punish those who spread panic using fakes by up to 15 years,” a senior lawmaker, Sholban Kara-ool, said on Thursday. During World War II, he said, such people “were shot on the spot.”

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