President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday tightened media conditions for election coverage in Russia, ahead of a March 2024 presidential vote expected to prolong his rule until 2030. Moscow has hugely cracked down on media freedom since launching its Ukraine offensive in February last year. Putin — in power since 2000 — has not yet announced he will run for a fifth term, but the Kremlin has said his power is unrivalled.
According to a government decree, journalists who are not employed by media outlets registered with the authorities will be barred from taking part in electoral commission meetings.
Only reporters who “have the right in accordance with federal law” to work will be able to take photographs and videos inside polling stations, the decree said.
The measures thereby bar bloggers and reporters working for exiled independent media from accessing voting stations. The vast majority of Russian independent media fled the country last year, with authorities launching a massive crackdown on dissent and passing strict censorship laws around the conflict in Ukraine. Read more