Fake News: Russia imposes media censorship while international news outlets suspend broadcasts indefinitely

March 8, 2022

Rachel Sheary

On March 3rd, the production team of T.V Rain walked off the set of the  newsroom they were broadcasting from.  As one of Russia’s last independent news outlets critical of the Kremlin, it had come under fire for its critique of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and was shut down by state authorities shortly after. 

In the days that followed, Russian authorities also banned Facebook and Google Play. Social media giant Tik Tok suspended live streaming and content creation services in the country. BBC, Bloomberg News, CBC, Deutsche Welle, ZDF and CNN are among the many news outlets that opted to stop broadcasting from Russia due to concerns over the welfare of their journalists. 

This is due to the ‘Fake News’ law passed in the Russian parliament on March 4th, 2022. The new law threatens prison time for anyone who publishes what the Russian government considers to be false information about the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Those who are found guilty of disseminating such information could face up to 15 years in prison.

Russia has a long history of suppressing voices of dissent and political opposition. The Why’s film Putin's Kiss depicts the brutality critical journalists face in the country, and the extreme measures taken by the government to undermine voices that question the Kremlin. Ekaterina Kotrik, T.V Rain presenter and former head of news, felt she had to leave Russia immediately due to the implementation of the new law. "Fifteen years in jail for just doing your job," Ms Kotrik told the BBC, "It's the end of democracy in Russia - any freedom is lost.” 

T.V Rain is a former broadcast partner of The Why. Some of the titles previously aired by the network include The Journalist and the Mass Murderer, Red Chapel and I will be Murdered. As objective journalism unravels in Russia and media professionals face increasing persecution, we support those who are fighting to combat media censorship and share factual information, often putting themselves in danger in the process.

Access to reliable information is not something to be taken for granted. It is the reason The Why exists.


You can watch Putin’s Kiss here.

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