Russia begins to crack down on US media outlets

The heads of all US media outlets operating in Moscow are due to appear before Russia’s Foreign Ministry today in

Russia cracks down on US media outlets

Russia cracks down on US media outlets in retaliation to US sanctions to Russian media in the US – Photo: Maxim Shemetov

The heads of all US media outlets operating in Moscow are due to appear before Russia’s Foreign Ministry today in retaliation for US restrictions on Russian media in the US.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and state-run media efforts to spin the Kremlin’s objectives, Washington and its allies imposed sanctions on pro-war propaganda outlets. The latest package, implemented last month, forbids advertising investment in and broadcast technology sales to Channel One Russia, Television Station Russian-1 and NTV Broadcasting.

Since February, Russia has cracked down on internal media coverage of the invasion and anti-government protests. In March,  lawmakers passed a law imposing a 15-year prison sentence on journalists spreading “fake news.”

The Kremlin’s ominous summons could result in a range of outcomes, from threats of fines and penalties to revocations of press privileges. The latter is more likely given the sanctions and Washington’s vocality on Russian censorship. In the medium-term, as the invasion continues to falter and Russian war atrocities come to light, expect Moscow’s crackdown on media to intensify. In the long-term, expect these Soviet-reminiscent restrictions—framed by the government as temporary emergency measures—to become a more permanent fixture as the Kremlin continues to repress internal dissent, especially as the economic and material consequences of the war deepen. 

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