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Moscow calls on Russian media to ignore Zelensky interview

krainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Moscow’s telecommunications watchdog is calling on media outlets in the country to ignore the interview Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did with some Russian journalists.

“Several Russian mass media outlets, including foreign agent mass media, conducted an interview with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Roskomnadzor warns the Russian mass media about the necessity of refraining from publishing this interview,” Russia’s mass media and telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, wrote in a statement on Sunday, according to the TASS Russian news agency.

Roskomnadzor also announced that it launched a “check” of the mass media outlets that took part in the interview “to determine the degree of responsibility and take measures.”

“A check has been launched in respect of the mass media outlets, which conducted this interview, to determine the degree of responsibility and take measures,” the watchdog wrote.

Zelensky spoke with Russian journalists during a 90-minute video call on Sunday, during which he made headlines for saying that Ukraine would consider neutral status as part of a peace deal if the agreement was assured by third parties and put to a referendum.

In a video address late Sunday, however, Zelensky appeared to change his stance, saying “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are beyond doubt.”

Zelensky during that address also responded to Russia urging its news outlets to ignore his interview, criticizing the reported censorship in Moscow.

“Today is the day when we see again and again how far we are from the Russian Federation. Imagine, they were frightened there in Moscow because of my interview to Russian journalists. To those of them who can afford to tell the truth,” Zelensky said.

“When journalists were preparing to publish our interview — and we spoke with them this afternoon — the Russian censorship agency came out with a threat. That’s what they wrote — they demand not to publish the conversation. It would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so tragic,” he added.

The Ukrainian president said freedom of speech had been “destroyed” in Russia, before alleging that Moscow is “nervous.”

“They destroyed freedom of speech in their state, they are trying to destroy the neighboring state. They portray themselves as global players. And they themselves are afraid of a relatively short conversation with several journalists,” Zelensky said.

“Well, if there is such a reaction, then we are doing everything right, then they are nervous. Apparently, they have seen that their citizens have more and more questions about the state of affairs in their country,” he added.

Tags Censorship in Russia Volodymyr Zelensky

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