Russia blocks Telegraph website over reports on Ukraine | Russia
Russia has blocked the Telegraph website for its reporting on the invasion of Ukraine.
The newspaper said he had been accused of “spreading false information about a special military operation of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine”.
According to Russian government data, Telegraph.co.uk was blocked by internet censor Roskomnadzor for a report published before the invasion on the deployment of mobile crematoria that could cremate the bodies of soldiers killed on the battlefield.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the newspaper that the system could be a way for the Kremlin to cover any future combat losses.
The Telegraph report was published on February 23, a day before Vladimir Putin launched a major attack on Ukraine that aimed to seize the capital, Kyiv.
Roskomnadzor online data showed the Telegraph website ban was approved in April. It is unclear why the ban was only enforced and made public in June. The subject of combat casualties has been extremely controversial in Russia since the military campaign suffered setbacks in Ukraine.
The Telegraph said it was the first British newspaper to have its website blocked in Russia for its war coverage. The BBC website and a number of other international media were also blocked in Russia for their coverage of the war.
The company said: “The Telegraph is proud of its reporting on the invasion of Ukraine and regrets Russia’s attempts to restrict press freedom.”
Last week, Russia banned 29 members of the British media, including five Guardian journalists, from entering the country. A number of Telegraph staff, including Chris Evans, the editor, were also banned from Russia.
Russia has banned most local independent media for criticizing the war. The independent TV Rain channel closed in March after being blocked, while the Novaya Gazeta newspaper suspended operations after government warnings about its war coverage.
Echo of Moscow, a popular radio station that was part of state-owned energy company Gazprom’s media empire, also shut down in March for airing stories and opinions critical of Russia’s war in Ukraine.