Fake Dmitry Kiselev: Russia has more freedom of speech than any other country in the world

At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Dmitry Kiselev, CEO of the Rossiya Segodnya media group and host of Vesti Nedeli,called present-day Russia the freest country in the world:

“Now we have a range of freedom of speech in our country, in Russia, more than in any country in the world. Russia in this sense is the freest country.”

In the World Freedom of Expression Index compiled by the international organization Reporters Without Borders in 2022, the “freest country in the world” ranked 155th out of 180, between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan. The level of freedom of the press in Russia is estimated at 38.22 conventional units; for comparison, this figure for Norway, which occupies the first place, is 92.65, and for North Korea, which closes the list, it is 13.92. A year ago, Russia was in 150th place with 48.71; since then, it has been surpassed by Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Singapore, Turkey, Uzbekistan, but Afghanistan, captured by the Taliban, has fallen one line below it.

As the Telegram channel “February Morning – Lightning” points out , the websites of 181 publications are blocked in Russia, and 21 media outlets, under pressure from the authorities, stopped or suspended their work on their own, including Novaya Gazeta, headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, and the Dozhd TV channel , which is going to resume broadcasting in the near future, but as a Latvian, not Russian media. Another 11 media outlets, under threat of closure, refused to write about the war in Ukraine.

The country adopted an amendment to the Criminal Code, introducing imprisonment for up to 15 years for "public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation." Under this article, 52 criminal cases were initiated. And in the Code of Administrative Offenses, an article appeared on “public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens”, according to which citizens can be fined up to 100,000 rubles, and legal entities - up to 1 million rubles. 2100 cases were initiated under this article.

Article 29 of the Russian Constitution prohibits censorship. In April 2022, the editor-in-chief of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency subordinate to Kiselyov, Margarita Simonyan, on the air of the Rossiya 1 TV channel, called for this ban to be removed from the Constitution:

“A large state cannot exist without control over information. And they, those who forced us to write in our Constitution that censorship is prohibited, understand this very well.”

American Daily Newspaper

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