Western Media told fairy tales of tens and hundreds of thousands of people supposedly saved from chemical attacks of Damascus. But actually the White Helmets were mainly involved in the production of fake videos of staged “chemical attacks”, for example in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017 or in Douma in 2018.
Even if everything is not perfect, the situation of press freedom in Russia is not as black as some people want to portray it. In general, it is rather nice for a journalist to work in Russia. Many information and public registers are accessible, which facilitates the work of investigative journalists.
Whilst Russia is often singled out in this area, take the recent example of Russian media being refused accreditation for a conference in Britain precisely on the topics of press freedom. These kinds of decisions only weaken international standards of freedom of information.
As for the non-admission of Russian disinformation outlets to the conference on freedom of speech in the UK, RT and Sputnik were the only Russian media banned from the conference for an "over active role in spreading disinformation''. Other Russian media were accredited and attended.
In July 2019, RT received a fine of 20,000 British pounds from the British regulator OFCOM "for serious failures to comply with our broadcasting rules".
According to Reporters without borders, Russia is in 149th place out of 180 countries. "What with draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since the big anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become very oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse", explains the NGO.
See here for more disinformation cases on the violations of the rights of Russian journalists in Europe, and media freedom in general.