Sky News Denies Claim It Self-Censored Due to Putin Decree

A local resident walks on a road as members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride on an armoured personnel carrier near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Jun. 7.

Despite media claims to the contrary, Sky News did not postpone its report about Russian soldiers that allegedly perished in Ukraine, a spokesperson for the British television station told The Moscow Times on Monday.

"Sky News has not postponed the report; it is carrying out its usual editorial processes," the spokesperson said.

Russian news site RBC reported Monday that Sky News had postponed its upcoming report in connection with an order signed by President Vladimir Putin's May 28 making "information disclosing the loss of personnel … during special operations in peacetime" a classified state secret.

According to RBC, Sky News had been preparing a report featuring interviews with relatives of Russian military servicemen who were allegedly killed in Ukraine in recent weeks.

In May, Russian opposition bloggers Vadim Korovin and Ruslan Leviyev claimed to have discovered graves of three Russian servicemen who were allegedly killed fighting in a special operation in Ukraine.

According to RBC, Sky News journalists traveled to the Tatarstan republic and the Tambov and Chelyabinsk regions to speak with relatives, friends and fellow servicemen of the three soldiers.

RBC reported that the Sky News journalists spoke with the mother of one of the servicemen, who said her son had been serving as a contract soldier with Russian special forces. She received a document stating that he was killed during a counter-terrorism operation in the North Caucasus, according to RBC.

Representatives of Sky News would neither confirm nor deny the details of its report contained in the RBC article.

After Putin's order was released, experts told The Moscow Times that it bolstered the theory that Russian soldiers were engaged in combat in Ukraine.

See related story: Putin Classifying Troop Losses Proves They're in Ukraine — Analysts

Moscow has repeatedly denied claims Russian troops are involved in the Ukraine conflict.

Contact the author at i.nechepurenko@imedia.ru

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