Disinfo: Western governments are censoring Russian media while criticising censorship in Russia


Media material published in Russia is openly censored in Western countries. It is strange that such overt censorship is carried out with the silent endorsement of the governments of the most prominent Western powers and non-governmental human rights organisations, who at the same time amplify myths about tight censorship and widespread violations of freedom of expression in Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the West censors Russian media. The claim has been neither critically challenged nor counterbalanced in the article.

The West does not impose censorship. The European Union as a whole is committed to respecting the freedom and pluralism of the media as well as the right to freedom of expression - which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority. This commitment is enshrined in Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the freest countries in the world in terms of press freedom are predominantly the United States, Canada and European countries, including Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, etc. Russia takes 149th place out of 180 countries, as of the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

Reporters Without Borders writes in its report on Russia's media landscape:

"What with draconian laws, website blocking and Internet cuts, 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, or just try to maintain quality journalism. (...) Murders and physical attacks against journalists continue to go unpunished – even if campaigns can achieve victories in the face of absurd accusations by the authorities, as in the case of Ivan Golunov, an investigative journalist released in June 2019 after being arrested on a trumped-up drug trafficking charge."

According to Freedom House, all western European and North American countries are "free" with a rating over 90 out of 100 on the index. All EU countries have a score of 70 or higher.

On the other hand, with an index score of 20 out of 100, Russian Global Freedom Status was marked as 'not free'.

Read similar cases alleging that Western governments impose censorship and silence dissidents and that the West cannot cope with freedom of opinion.


  • Reported in: Issue 215
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Censorship, Anti-Russian, Freedom of speech, Media


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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