Foreign media in Russia are not restricted

Summary

Restrictive measures against foreign media have not been applied in Russia.

Disproof

According to the Freedom House Report ''Freedom on the Net 2018'', Russians are still able to access a wide variety of foreign sources, but many independent online media outlets within Russia have been forced to shut down in recent years due to increasing government pressure.

The Russian authorities censor a wide range of topics online, most often under the pretext of combating “extremism”. Content subject to blacklisting or removal includes LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) expression, information on the conflict in Ukraine, and material related to the political opposition.

Russia has been rated 149th out of 180 countries for press freedom, according to an annual index published by international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

More disinformation cases about media freedom in Russia are available here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 162
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Bosnian, Montenegro, Serbian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media
  • Outlet: Sputnik Srbija
see more

The climate mafia is exploiting Greta Thunberg to lower living standards

The climate mafia is exploiting Greta Thunberg to lower the living standards that we have achieved over the last hundred years and to acquire investment for green business.

Disproof

This claim is a conspiracy presented without any evidence. It is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about climate change, following the narrative that global warming is a "hoax" perpetrated by special interest groups like green business that stand to benefit from climate hysteria.

In fact, the existence of anthropogenic climate change and is a matter of scientific consensus. Only a tiny minority of scientists dispute this consensus: the Earth is warming through the greenhouse effect; human activities - including use of fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests, and farming livestock - are a major cause of the warming; and, unchecked, this rapid warming presents significant risks to human communities and natural systems. We are already seeing impacts from global warming today.

There is a deterioration of democracy in the West

RT and Sputnik are prevented from appearing in briefings and some internet software programmes are invented to automatically ban those reports deemed politically unacceptable by the authorities of the country concerned. This is a violation of OSCE obligations regarding direct access to public information […] The Russian authorities have not taken restrictive measures against foreign media.

The situation of the Russian media in the West has become difficult in recent years. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution indicating the need to confront Russian media, where Sputnik and RT were identified as major threats […] The adoption of such a document signals the apparent deterioration of ideas about democracy in Western society.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that the Russian media is unfairly restricted, discriminated against in Europe, and that freedom of speech is restricted in certain European Union member states, while presenting Russia as respectful of media freedoms. See previous cases here.

The mentioned European Parliament resolution at no point calls for any restrictive measure in its efforts to counter anti-EU propaganda by third parties. The efforts to counter such propaganda mainly revolve around awareness-raising through campaigns, education, media and information literacy while respecting the commitments to media freedom, access to information, freedom of expression and media pluralism. The European Parliament in this resolution stressed that promoting respect for fundamental rights and freedoms should underpin the EU's action in countering propaganda.

Strong Georgia not in the interests of the West. Georgia is governed by the US ambassador and the EU

Strong and independent Georgia is not in the interests of the West. If Georgia was truly free we would not have to listen to and obey neither the US ambassador nor the EU.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Georgia's relations with the EU and US, which aims to undermine Georgia's sovereignty. See an earlier case: The US and the EU govern Georgia.

The EU and Georgia  enjoy an excellent relationship. Relations are based on the EU Georgia Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which entered into force in July 2016 and strives for political association and economic integration. The EU is Georgia's largest trading partner and provides over 120 mln. EUR annually in grant assistance. Since 2017, more that 300 000 Georgian citizens benefited from the visa-free regime with the EU.