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BBC suspends its service in Russia

Russia has introduced a new law that mandates arresting anyone that it deems to have spread fake news regarding their armed forces. Looking at such stringent rules, the BBC along with several other news broadcasters have temporarily suspended their work from Russia. 

The news: Following the trend to keep their journalists safe,  the BBC has temporarily suspended its journalist work in Russia. This decision was taken by the authorities after the Russian authorities put forth a new law threatening to jail whoever Russia feels is spreading fake news on its armed forces.

  • Although the BBC will still keep producing the news for Russians from outside the country, access to the BBC websites has already been restricted in Russia. 
  • Media outlets like Deutsche Welle, Meduza and Radio Liberty have also limited their services.  
  • The Kremlin objects to the conflict being called a war, instead calling it a “special military operation”.

What’s going on: On Friday, Canada’s public broadcaster alongwith Bloomberg News temporarily halted their on ground work from Russia. While on the other hand, CNN completely stopped their service in Russia. 

  • On the following day, German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF announced a similar statement, so did Italy’s Rai

What are they saying: Through a formal word, the Director-General of the BBC, Tim Davie said that the legislation “appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism”.

  • Responding to the legislation passed by the Russian authorities, he further stated, “It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development. Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia.
  • “The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs. I’d like to pay tribute to all of them, for their bravery, determination and professionalism,” he added. 
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