Kremlin ramps up media crackdown amid mounting isolation
HAVANA TIMES – Antiwar protests continued, as well, around the globe and in Russia. A local monitoring group says over 5,000 people were arrested by police across 69 Russian cities Sunday, bringing the total number of arrests to 13,000 since the start of the invasion. Meanwhile, Russia’s crackdown on the press continues, with Moscow passing a new law criminalizing reporting on the war, and authorities blocking a number of independent online media outlets. Prominent independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, whose editor Dmitry Muratov was a recipient of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, said it was removing its reporting on the invasion because of censorship, but said it will continue to cover the war’s effects on Russian society. Other news outlets, including CNN, ABC, CBS, Bloomberg and BBC, also moved to limit their activity in Russia. Visa and Mastercard are also suspending operations in Russia. Meanwhile, a growing number of Russians are leaving the country, citing a fear of further crackdowns, including possible martial law, and economic instability. In a direct address, Ukrainian President Zelensky urged Russians to resist Putin’s actions in Ukraine and at home.
President Volodymyr Zelensky: “We Ukrainians want peace. Citizens of Russia, for you, this is a struggle not only for peace in Ukraine; this is a fight for your country, for the best it had, for the freedom that you have seen, for the wealth that you have felt. If you keep silent now, only your poverty will speak for you later, and only repression will answer. Do not be silent.”