Putin imposes new restrictions ahead

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.15 - 2023 8:23 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin imposes new restrictions ahead.

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In a strategic move ahead of Russia's upcoming presidential election, President Vladimir Putin has enacted a series of restrictive amendments to the country's election law, significantly impacting media coverage and campaign activities.

These changes, introduced just before the election where Putin is expected to seek another term, have sparked concerns over press freedom and the transparency of the electoral process.

According to Associated Press, the new law, targeting media operations during the election, mandates that only journalists affiliated with registered media organizations can cover election commission meetings. This rule effectively sidelines freelance and independent journalists, limiting diverse reporting perspectives.

Further tightening its grip, the law restricts media coverage within military bases and areas under martial law, unless sanctioned by military and regional authorities. This move is seen as a way to control information flow in sensitive locations.

In a significant blow to digital campaigning, the amendments also ban campaign activities on "blocked resources," a term that refers to various websites and services banned in Russia, including major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Despite these bans, many Russians continue to access these platforms through VPNs.

These amendments are part of a broader pattern in Russia of increasing control over information and curbing opposition activities, especially in the lead-up to elections. The changes have raised international concerns about the state of democracy in Russia, with many viewing them as a step back in terms of press freedom and electoral fairness. As the election approaches, the world watches to see how these new restrictions will shape the political landscape in Russia.