Short biography of the freedom that never happened.
In 2019, the Russian president signed two vaguely worded anti-fake laws. They prohibited the spread of socially significant information deemed unreliable by the state authorities.
In 2020, the anti-fake legislation was extended due to COVID-19. According to lawmakers, they aimed to make illegal any doubts about the nature of COVID-19 and the reasonableness of combating the pandemic. In fact, the law has been selectively applied to journalists and activists for revealing problems and criticising measures provided by Russian authorities.
In March 2022, the new extension of the Russian anti-fake law introduced criminal liability for spreading “knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” with a maximum punishment of 15 years imprisonment.
The decision on what can be qualified as “false information” is up to Russian authorities. It may include any reference to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that contradicts the information officially given by the Kremlin. For example, reporting on the number of military casualties suffered by Russian armed forces or allegations of war crimes by the military.
This law, along with other measures, forced many Russian media to stop covering war-related events. Some foreign news agencies and independent media stopped their activities in Russia, and many journalists left the country to be able to continue their work.
By the end of September 2022, this law’s enforcement had resulted in more than 100 criminal cases.
To learn more:
Resistance persists in Russian schools despite strong state control. Teachers and students oppose the creeping of ideology as well as election frauds. What forms do such protests typically take? What do the protesters risk?
Russia is seizing the control of academic freedoms of both private and public universities. How does this work? Has any school remained free?
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Our stand on the Russian invasion to Ukraine
Russia started the war against Ukraine. This war is happening from 2014. It has only intensified on February 24th 2022. Milions of Ukrainians are suffering. The perpetrators of this must be brought to justice for their crimes.
Russian regime tries to silence its liberal voices. Russian people against the war exist - and the Russian regime tries its best to silence them. We want to prevent that and make their voices heard.
Connection is crucial. The Russian liberal initiatives are hard to read for European public at times. The legal, social and historical context of Russia is not always clear. We want to share information, build bridges and connect the liberal Russia with The West.
We believe in dialogue, not isolation. The oppositional powers in Russia will not be able to change anything without the support of the democratic world. We also believe that the dialogue should go both ways.
The choice is yours. We understand the anger for the Russian crimes. It is up to you whether you want to listen to the Russian people standing against this.