Moscow Blocks Russian-Language Website of RFE/RL's Armenian Service

By RFE/RL's Armenian Service

Russia's media regulator Roskomnadzor has blocked the Russian-language website of RFE/RL's Armenian Service, known locally as Radio Azatutyun.

A group that promotes uncensored online media in Russia, Roskomsvoboda, said on June 2 that the move to block the site was initiated by the Prosecutor-General's Office.

Roskomsvoboda said that it obtained access to the registry of "banned information" in Russia which listed 12 websites and links, including Azatutyun and the sites of the multilingual Finnish state radio and television company, Yle, which has been blocked in Russia since late May.

“The Kremlin’s blockage of yet another RFE/RL website is just the latest reminder of the extreme lengths those in power in Russia are willing to go to deprive the Russian people of the truth. RFE/RL will not be deterred from sharing the facts about this devastating war with our audiences, who continue to reach us on all available platforms,” RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said in a June 3 statement.

After Russia launched its ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Roskomnadzor blocked the websites of dozens of media outlets, including RFE/RL, as well as social network platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Roskomnadzor has warned media outlets across the country that Russia's attack on Ukraine cannot be called a war or an invasion, and should only be referred to as a "special military operation."

In the first few weeks of the war, several major international broadcasters suspended their operations inside Russia, including the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS, and the German ARD and ZDF outlets.

The BBC and ARD have since reopened.