By Paul Goble
In the two months since Vladimir Putin began his expanded invasion of Ukraine, Roskomnadzor, the Russian agency that oversees the Internet in that country, has blocked “more than 85,000” posts on the Internet that it says contain “false information” about that conflict.
Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of that agency, says that this effort is designed to block the active distribution of “false information about the special military operation in Ukraine, its forms, capability of conducting military actions, supposed attacks on the peaceful population and civic infrastructure, and significant losses” of life (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=62666849483D9).
He added that such moves were necessary because “the Russian Federation finds itself in a state of a broadscale information war that has been unleashed by Western countries” and that his agency is doing more, including going after Western Internet companies like Google for their failure to drop posts banned in Russia.
The number Subbotin gives is perhaps the most easily understood measure of just how rapidly the Kremlin is using the war in Ukraine to impose ever more far-reaching censorship in the Russian Federation and to try to force Western governments and companies to go along with such illegal and unconstitutional actions.