Russia blocks Facebook amid war with Ukraine

Russia blocks Facebook amid war with Ukraine


MOSCOW: Russia has blocked social media major Facebook in the country, more than a week after Moscow invaded neighboring Ukraine, the media watchdog said.

“On March 4, 2022 it was decided to block access to Facebook (belonging to the company Meta) on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Roskomnadzor said citing “26 instances of discrimination toward Russian media” by Facebook.

An AFP journalist in Moscow confirmed Facebook was not working but Facebook-owned Instagram was still accessible.

The move was part of an unprecedented government crackdown on independent media and activists since the start of the Russian invasion.

The country’s remaining major free media outlets have been shut down in recent days, with a new law introducing harsh jail terms for publishing “fake news” about the war in Ukraine, forcing others to drop coverage on the topic.

Roskomnadzor accused Facebook of 26 cases of “discrimination” since October 2020 against pro-Kremlin news outlets by restricting their accounts on the platform, saying it violated the rights and freedoms of Russians.

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