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The New York Times announced on Tuesday that it will temporarily pull its reporters out of Russia after President Vladimir Putin effectively banned dissenting information about his invasion of Ukraine.
Putin signed a new bill on Friday imposing prison sentences of up to 15 years for those spreading information that goes against the Russian government’s narrative on the war. Under the new legislation, the Times writes, journalists who use the term “war” to describe could be sentenced to prison.
“Russia’s new legislation seeks to criminalize independent, accurate news reporting about the war against Ukraine. For the safety and security of our editorial staff working in the region, we are moving them out of the country for now,” a spokeswoman for The Times, Danielle Rhoades Ha, announced.
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Multiple U.S. and U.K.-based news outlets have either stopped broadcasting or suspended journalists’ works in Russia. Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi said the newspaper “will remove bylines and datelines from stories produced by” its journalists based in Russia.
The U.K.’s Sky News reported Monday that Russian forces shot at the outlet’s chief correspondent, Stuart Ramsay, and his team outside Kyiv. Ramsay sustained bullet wounds, and his camera operator, Richie Mockler, took two rounds to his body armor.
Independent and foreign journalists based in Russia also left as Putin cracks down on independent reporting surrounding the ongoing invasion.
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Russian authorities have repeatedly and falsely decried reports of Russian military setbacks or civilian deaths in Ukraine as “fake” news. State media outlets refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than a war or an invasion.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.