During Russia’s War continues to devastate Ukraineanother kind of evil unfolds in Moscow, where Vladimir Putin’s Cronies have banded together to support a dangerous new law that has already prompted scores of Russian journalists to flee the country.
The law, passed on Friday, will allow authorities to target anyone accused of having – or already having – distributed so-called “fake news” about the distribution invasion of Ukraine. In reality, the new rules could represent the final nail in the coffin of what remains of free press in the country, where any journalist daring to go against the Kremlin’s official war narrative now faces up to 15 years in prison got to.
One of the leading voices behind the bill, which was proposed and hastily passed in Moscow’s State Duma earlier this week, is Russian MP Oleg Matveychev, known as the Kremlin’s notorious crackpot.
On the eve of the bill’s passage, Matveychev was preparing for what he called “a new page” in the history of Russia.
“Tomorrow we will discuss in Parliament which commission will investigate foreign press coverage of the war and see who is reporting objectively and who is not,” the statesman said in a phone interview with The Daily Beast on Thursday. “We used to not restrict the foreign press, but that was before our journalists’ bank accounts abroad were arrested, before our Sputnik news agency was banned and censored.”
Matveychev’s labeling of independent Russian media as “foreign press” is part of the Kremlin’s strategy to crack down on reporters, labeling media that produce free journalism as “foreign agents,” all in an effort to demonize them and steal them from the Russian people alienate. Targets of the “Foreign Agent” campaign include Russian radio station Echo and independent TV Rain, both recently shut down by the Kremlin.
These stations have been the backbone of independent media in Russia for years, ensuring that Kremlin propaganda isn’t the only information circulating on the airwaves.
The invasion of Ukraine has provided the Kremlin with an excuse to permanently silence dissenting voices. For someone like Matveychev, this has been the dream for more than a decade. In 2010 he said he wanted to get all the critics and the media together in one place: “And when you’re all out, a tank army would come out and wrap all the bastards, all the shit of the nation around the tanks’ tracks. burn yourself out.”
For now, he will be content to wipe out media freedom and quash the loudest voices of opposition.
“Both Echo and Rain weren’t just opposition media, they were foreign-funded agents,” Matveychev told The Daily Beast. “The majority of Russians support our decisions and told us we should have closed them earlier. Our boys are dying at the front and criticizing our operation.”
“We are doing like Churchill, who also restricted information during the Second World War,” added the politician. “That is normal.”
The new development has reporters across Russia considering fleeing the country, especially as all flights to the European Union and the United States have been canceled as a result of Western sanctions. Since then, Russian journalists have flown to Turkey, Egypt, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dubai and even Mongolia to avoid the Kremlin’s wrath.
Rain TV editor-in-chief Tikhon Dziadko fled to Turkey with his family on Tuesday after receiving a series of threats. “Some thugs who introduced themselves as ‘man state’ wrote to me [saying]: “I’ll come to your house,” Dziadko told The Daily Beast in a phone interview from Turkey. “We packed a few bags and went out with the plan to regroup and see what happens next in the country.”
The media is being throttled, but the Kremlin is struggling to quash news from Ukraine. Millions of Russians have friends or relatives in the neighboring country and are sending videos of rockets being fired at their cities, apartment blocks destroyed, villages on fire and thousands of people sleeping in subway stations.
The news describes people fleeing near-death and families fleeing to the west of the country.
When President Putin “liberates” Ukraine, which is why an estimated 1 million people run in the opposite direction to the borders of NATO and the European Union.
Even Russia’s elite has stopped posting glamorous selfies, instead sharing war videos or offering to help their devastated friends.
Of course, according to Kremlin insiders, all of this is just pretense. “Ukraine staged and shot the fake videos for six months to misinform the Russians,” Matveychev claimed.
Very soon it looks like there will be no more independent Russian media calling out any untruths.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/winston-churchill-inspired-our-total-media-blackout-says-kremlin-insider?source=articles&via=rss Winston Churchill inspired our total media blackout, says a Kremlin insider