Bloomberg, CNN, BBC halt operations in Russia

Bloomberg, CNN and the BBC on Friday announced that they would be halting operations in Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that makes independent reporting in the country a crime.

“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” the network said in a statement.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie issued a statement saying that the British-based broadcaster’s service in Russia would now conduct its operations outside of the country.

“This legislation appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism. It leaves us no other choice than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development,” Davie said.

“The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs,” he added.

People urging for sanctions against Russia or those found spreading “fake news” about the Russian forces can be sentenced up to 15 years in prison under the legislation, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait similarly said that the legislation signed by Putin would make it hard for them to be able to continue producing journalism within the country.

“We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia,” Micklethwait said, according to Bloomberg. “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.”

The news comes as Russian independent news outlets have announced they have suspended coverage — a rapid change of events that have taken place in the last week since Russia began its invasion into Ukraine. 

The Hill has reached out to Bloomberg for comment.

Tags BBC Bloomberg CNN Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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