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Kazakh News Outlet Rejects Russian Demand to Delete War Coverage

A Russian missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, July 14. State Emergency Service of Ukraine

An independent Kazakh media outlet said it has refused to follow a demand by Russian authorities to take down its reporting on the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, rarely orders media based outside Russia to delete content.

The Vlast.kz news website in Russia’s southern neighbor Kazakhstan said Tuesday that Roskomnadzor ordered the removal of its stories about deadly Russian strikes and civilian casualties in Ukrainian cities. 

Roskomnadzor threatened to block Vlast.kz if it refused to comply.

“The editorial staff does not intend to remove the aforementioned or any other news about the war in Ukraine,” Vlast.kz said.

“Vlast is a Kazakhstani publication and its activities are not regulated by Russian laws and supervisory agencies,” it added.

The outlet said it will continue its coverage “regardless of what the Russian military censorship agency thinks about it.”

Ex-Soviet Kazakhstan's historically close ties with Russia have been strained by Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine this year.

Russia has carried out a sweeping crackdown on information that doesn't follow the Kremlin's narrative of the war. An internet freedom NGO’s tally published Monday said Russian authorities have blocked an average of 4,900 websites per week so far in 2022.

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