SRF and RSI withdraw from Russia

The German-speaking Swiss radio and television SRF and also the Italian-speaking RSI are withdrawing from Russia. All correspondents are already out of the country, according to a statement on Saturday. The reason is a drastic new media law in connection with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

This media law was passed by the parliament in Moscow on Friday evening in view of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and signed by President Vladimir Putin. Up to 15 years in prison are now threatened for the dissemination of alleged "false information" about the Russian armed forces. Penalties are also threatened for those who publicly "denigrate" the army.

"Due to the restrictive conditions for correspondents and the consequences they face, SRF currently no longer has any employees on location in Russia. However, the situation is being reassessed on an ongoing basis," SRF announced on Saturday in response to a request from the Keystone-SDA news agency. Previously, the online portal of 20 minutes reported about it.

The French-speaking Swiss radio and television station RTS was already no longer permanently represented in the Russian capital, according to a statement from Geneva. Radiotelevisione Svizzera RSI had also announced the withdrawal of its staff from Moscow to Keystone-SDA on Saturday evening.

Earlier on Saturday, German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF said they had suspended coverage from their Moscow studios. The British BBC and the U.S. news channel CNN had already announced this step.

Russian President Putin, who last Thursday launched a military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, had signed several laws on Friday evening to further restrict free speech in Russia. (SDA)

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