Russia curbs access to BBC and other foreign news outlets
MOSCOW, March 4 (Reuters) – Russia cut access to several foreign news organisations’ websites, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle, for spreading what it alleged was false information about its war in Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly complained that Western media organisations offer a partial – and often anti-Russian – view of the world while failing to hold their own leaders to account for devastating foreign wars such as Iraq and corruption.
Russia’s communications watchdog said on Friday it had blocked the websites of the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle and other media outlets.
“Access has been restricted to a host of information resources owned by foreigners,” the watchdog, known as Roskomnadzor, said in a statement.
“The grounds for restricting access to these information resources on the territory of the Russian Federation was their deliberate and systematic circulation of materials containing false information.”
It said the media organisations had spread falsehoods about “the essence of the special military operation in Ukraine, its form, the methods of combat operations (attacks on the population, strikes on civilian infrastucture), the Russian armed forces’ losses and civilian victims”.
The BBC said it would not be deterred by the Russian curbs.
“Access to accurate, independent information is a fundamental human right which should not be denied to the people of Russia, millions of whom rely on BBC News every week,” it said.
“We will continue our efforts to make BBC News available in Russia, and across the rest of the world.”
The European Union this week banned Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik. Facebook owner Meta (FB.O), Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), YouTube and TikTok are already blocking access to RT and Sputnik in the EU.
Twitter (TWTR.N) has said it would comply with the EU ban.