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Use Only Official Sources About Ukraine War, Russian Media Watchdog Tells Journalists

Damaged radar arrays and other equipment at a Ukrainian military facility outside Mariupol, Ukraine. Sergei Grits / AP / TASS

Russia’s media watchdog has ordered the country’s media to use only official sources in covering the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, threatening to block outlets which do not comply.

In a statement, the Rozkomnadzor agency demanded that Russian media “use only information and data from official Russian sources” in covering what it called the “the special operation connected with the situation in the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

The regulator said that failure to comply could result in websites being blocked within Russia, and in a fine of up to 5 million rubles ($59,000).

Russian independent media, including the Meduza news website and the Dozhd television channel, had been covering the war using reports from the Ukrainian side, and from social media.

Russian forces began crossing the Ukrainian frontier from the north, east and south in the early hours of Thursday morning, in a move announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a televised address.

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