Earlier the president of Russia has signed a law that implies considering all journalists and bloggers “foreign agents” from now on. This, presumably, will allow the Kremlin to act against government critics. This, in turn, will allow Russia to gain a complete control and power not only outside, but within the country itself.
Under this law, all Russian and foreign media members and content distributors who receive money from abroad will be regarded as foreign agents.
Many journalists and human activists agreed that this move was made to shut any potential criticism towards Russian government completely. Thus, approximately 60 well-known journalists and writers signed an open letter asking the president not to sign this law.
The letter stated:
‘Foreign agent’ is a persistent phrase with a sharply negative character. The label of foreign agent discredits a person in the eyes of his fellow citizens and disparages his dignity despite the fact that he has done nothing wrong or illegal and did not carry out the will of any foreign employers.’
The editor of the popular Russian newspaper Echo of Moscow, Alexei Venediktov, agreed that the whole idea of implementing this law was caused by this summer’s protest against the state’s control over municipal elections.
In one of his latest interviews, he mentioned:
‘This is the story of a selective attack for total fear and to create obstacles for protesters, above all the media, which report on protests, using all the available information. This is yet another tool, it is clear, understood, demonstrated and brazen.’
Russia’s government sharply criticised Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, as well as Deutsche Welle. It accused those media outlets of stimulating protests in Russia.
Notably, the law was initially developed after anti-Putin protests that took place back in 2012. It largely affected NGOs.