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'Foreign Agent' Watch

RFE/RL's bureau in Moscow.


An amended law on "foreign agents" signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 2, 2019 ratchets up pressure on the hundreds of correspondents working for RFE/RL in Russia who are too often the only source of reliable information in their remote regions, and who provide one of the few alternatives to Kremlin-controlled news.

RFE/RL's ‘Foreign Agent’ Watch is monitoring the law’s implementation, and its impact on media independence and journalists’ security in Russia.

Statement, 12/19/2019

EU Lawmakers Condemn Russian ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

The European Parliament on December 19 adopted a nonbinding resolution calling on Russian authorities to repeal the country’s controversial law on "foreign agents," and condemning efforts to restrict independent journalism and create an atmosphere hostile to civil society.

Nine RFE/RL projects in Russia have been designated by Russia’s Justice Ministry as “foreign mass media outlets” performing functions of a “foreign agent.” They are:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Freedom,
Current Time TV,
Татаро-башкирская служба Радио Свобода (Azatliq Radiosi), / Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Liberty

Statement, 12/4/2019

Russian 'Foreign Agent' Law Targets Journalists And Threatens Isolation

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly condemned the law, saying it targets the work and jeopardizes the security of the company’s journalists, and is “an attempt to silence them and deprive Russian citizens of their right to seek reliable information.”

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