Stifling atmosphere for independent journalists
What with draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become increasingly oppressive for those who try to maintain quality journalism or question the new patriotic and neo-conservative. More and more bloggers are receiving prisons sentences for their activity on online social networks. The leading human rights NGOs have been declared “foreign agents.” The oppressive climate at the national level encourages powerful provincial officials far from Moscow to crack down even harder on their media critics.