Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Soldiers Banned From Taking Selfies Under New Law

Darya Ivanova / Interpress / TASS

Russian soldiers will no longer be able to take selfies or share information online under new legislation passed by the State Duma on Tuesday.

In recent years, online investigative journalism sites like Bellingcat have used open source data to cast light on Russia's alleged role in eastern Ukraine and other countries.

In a third and final reading on Tuesday, 90.7 percent of State Duma deputies voted in favor of the bill to ban Russian soldiers from uploading information that could give away their affiliation, activity or location.

The bill institutes a ban on the sharing of photographs, videos, and geolocation data and prohibits soldiers from sharing details about other servicemen or the relatives of servicemen. Those who break the ban will be subject to disciplinary measures.

The bill formally institutes a 2017 Defense Ministry recommendation to ban Russian soldiers from uploading compromising information online.

Before entering into force, the bill must pass through Russia’s upper-house Federation Council and secure President Vladimir Putin’s signature. 

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.