Disinfo: Russia has always upheld the fundamental principles of freedom of expression


The numerous violations of journalists’ rights in the Baltic countries are alarming. On December 3, 2020, the State Security Service of Latvia detained 7 employees of Sputnik Latvia and Baltnews. We regard these aggressive actions as a blatant example of violating the foundations of a democratic society – freedom of the media and freedom of expression.

Russia has consistently and firmly upheld the fundamental principles in the field of freedom of expression, including freedom of the media and free access to information. Meanwhile, the main tendency in the West is to strengthen regulation and to remove the sources of information representing an alternative point of view. the restriction of the rights of journalists is becoming more and more widespread, and individual countries have created real state mechanisms of pressure on “unwanted” media representatives. Russia strongly opposes such practices and insists on strict adherence to the universal principles of freedom of the media.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at portraying Western media as not being independent and biased while Russia is a protector of freedom of speech and the press.

The National Electronic Mass Media Council of Latvia decided in the summer of 2020 to restrict the broadcast of seven channels, belonging to the RT Group. The Latvian authorities view this as a step in accordance with the sanctions regime, introduced by the European Council. The group is headed by Dmitriy Kiselyov, who is subject to restrictive measures, introduced after Russian illegal annexation of Crimea.

According to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, Russia is in 149th place out of 180 countries. Latvia is on place 22 of the same index.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 83 journalists and media representatives have been killed in Russia since 1993. Out of them, 38 have been murdered directly for being engaged in investigative journalism related to corruption, politics, and human rights violations. According to the report, the murders can be traced to the Government. According to Reporters Without Borders, pressure on the independent media, blocking websites, and draconian laws became even more severe in the last years. Leading independent news outlets either ended up in the governmental control or were shut down under suspicious circumstances. That comes in addition to the 2020 report by “RWB” that states that “[a]t least 37 Russian professional journalists have been killed in connection with their work since 2000,” compared with 40 reporters killed in 1992-9.

Read our post “Russia is the world champion in free speech” or our analysis “Four factors affecting press freedom in Russia”, or more cases that claim that the West Falsely Claims Russian Media Not Free, or that Russian media is more independent than its American counterpart, or that Russia is the most liberal country and that there is no restriction of foreign media in Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 227
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media
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