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Russia Blocks Dozens of EU Media Outlets in ‘Retaliatory Move’

Russian Foreign Ministry. Yaroslav Chingaev / Moskva News Agency

Moscow will block access to 81 European media outlets in retaliation to the EU’s ban against four Kremlin-funded news organizations, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday. 

Brussels said last month it would suspend the broadcasting activities of the state-run RIA Novosti news agency, the pro-government newspapers Izvestia and Rossiiskaya Gazeta, as well as the news website Voice of Europe starting on June 25.

In response, Moscow designated 81 newspapers, broadcasters and magazines from all but two EU member states that would no longer be accessible inside Russia.

Among those impacted by the ban are the French news agency AFP, the German weekly Der Spiegel and the European edition of Politico.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry claimed the news outlets “systematically disseminate false information about the course of the special military operation,” a term the Kremlin uses to refer to its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Since the full-scale invasion, Russia has banned scores of independent foreign and domestic media, labeled some popular Western social media platforms as “extremist” and effectively criminalized any criticism of its war in Ukraine.

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