Voice of America (VOA) said Russian officials threatened to block their Russian-language website in the country unless it halts coverage of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement on Wednesday, VOA said Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor claimed VOA’s Russian site, www.golosameriki.com, “contains false messages about terrorist attacks or other kind (sic) of information of public concern.”
Roskomnadzor also demanded VOA remove a published news story about the second day of the Russian invasion, which the news service called “factual” reporting.
“Any attempts to interfere with the free flow of news and information are deeply troubling. We find this order to be in direct opposition to the values of all democratic societies,” VOA Director Yolanda López said in a statement.
“The Russian people deserve unfettered access to a free press and, therefore, we cannot comply with the Roskomnadzor’s request,” López added.
VOA also noted that Russian regulators have shut down two Russian news organizations and a VOA-Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty joint production’s Currenttime.tv, according to the statement.