MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian radio station criticizing the Kremlin was removed from the air on Tuesday.
MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian radio station criticizing the Kremlin was taken off the air on Tuesday, its editor-in-chief said, as confirmed by the Associated Press, after authorities threatened to shut it down to cover Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The move against Echo of Moscow, one of Russia’s oldest radio stations, comes amid growing pressure on Russia’s independent media to follow the Kremlin’s official line in covering the invasion of Ukraine.
Officials also threatened to block Russia’s main independent TV channel, Dozhd. The Prosecutor General’s Office accused two media outlets of disseminating content that incited extremist activities, as well as “false information about the actions of the Russian military in a special operation” in Ukraine.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said that the measures taken against the two shopping centers would include “immediate closure.” The Echo of Moscow and Rain sites remained available to Internet users in Moscow on Tuesday night.
Echo of Moscow editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov dismissed the allegations, saying they were “unsupported by any examples, evidence, unfounded and offensive to Russian journalists and citizens.”
The station “will challenge this decision in court,” Venediktov said.
“We see this as a political component, as well as the introduction of censorship, which is directly prohibited by the Russian Constitution,” he said.
“Rain” issued a statement rejecting the accusations against the TV channel, saying that he “strictly adheres to Russian laws in coverage.”
Shortly after Moscow invaded Ukraine on Thursday, Russian officials threatened independent media with closure if their coverage of the attack deviated from the official narrative, including describing the attack as an “invasion” or “war.”
The website Current Time, a Russian TV channel run by US-funded Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, which also criticized the Kremlin, became unavailable on Sunday after the channel reported receiving a message from authorities.
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