In response to Russia’s new laws cracking down on foreign journalists reporting on the war in Ukraine the BBC have said they are “temporarily suspending” all work in Russia.
On Friday the Russian parliament approved a new law which will sentence journalists or anyone else who spreads “fake” or “false” news over the the Ukrainian war.
The new legislation appears to make it a “criminal offence” for independent journalism in the country, BBC director-general Tim Davie said.
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In a statement, Davie said, “It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development.
“Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia.
“The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs.
“I’d like to pay tribute to all of them, for their bravery, determination and professionalism.
“We remain committed to making accurate, independent information available to audiences around the world, including the millions of Russians who use our news services.
“Our journalists in Ukraine and around the world will continue to report on the invasion of Ukraine.”
It comes after the Kremlin accused the BBC of playing a “determined role in undermining the Russian stability and security.”
The Russian Duma approved a law making it a criminal offence punishable by up to 15-years in prison if anyone reports what they say is “fake news” concerning Russian forces.