At least 150 journalists from 17 newsrooms have left Russia since the outbreak of military action by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the Agents.media portal reports. The portal writes that the reason they are leaving includes the introduction of criminal punishment for “false” about the war and a massive media blackout.
According to Agents.media, a significant number of journalists have left several newsrooms in recent days. For example, almost the entire editorial staff of the online publication Meduza in Moscow – around 20 people. Journalists from Dojdi TV (Дождь), Eho Moskvî (Эхо Москвы) and Novaia Gazeta (Новая Газета) have also left.
Some of the journalists have spoken publicly about their departure, including Dojdi editor-in-chief Tihon Dziadko, Dojdi presenter Mikhail Fishman and Republic editor-in-chief Dmitry Kolezev.
Among those who have left the Russian Federation are correspondents from a number of Western media institutions – a big number of BBC Russian-language staff (at least 15 people), Bloomberg and Radio Liberty (Радио Свобода).
According to the website’s description, a number of reporters and investigative journalists who have become victims of “repression in their own country” work anonymously in the Agents.media newsroom. The newsroom says it has chosen to operate anonymously for security reasons, so that reporters are not sanctioned or arrested. The founder and editor-in-chief of Agents.media is Roman Badanin, who has held senior positions at Dojdi, RBC and other media institutions.
On March 4, President Putin signed a law on criminal liability with up to 15 years’ imprisonment for false news about the actions of the Russian military.