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Bloomberg News on Friday announced its decision to "temporarily suspend" its journalism work inside Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation that punishes "fake" reports about the country's military with up to 15 years in prison, Bloomberg writes.
"We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia," said Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait on Friday. "The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country."
Over the past few days, the Kremlin has cracked down on coverage of the Ukraine invasion from non-state affiliated outlets; for example, "the websites of the BBC, Deutsche Welle, and Meduza, an independent news group, weren't accessible Friday," Bloomberg writes. Access to Facebook was blocked the same day.
In a decision similar to Bloomberg's, the BBC also on Friday announced it would be "temporarily suspending the work of all its news journalists and support staff in Russia," Bloomberg says. CNN, meanwhile, announced on Friday its decision to stop broadcasts in Russia for now, The Hollywood Reporter writes, citing the recently-passed censorship law as the reason.