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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 14, 2014 10:41 am

US bashes Russia over drastic media curbs

WASHINGTON (AP) As tensions spiral between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine, the Obama administration is denouncing Moscow's imposition of new restrictions on independent Russian media.

The State Department on Friday said it was "deeply troubled" by dramatic new curbs on press freedom that it said make it easier for the government to spread "patently false" information.

Spokeswoman Marie Harf pointed to government-influenced leadership changes at some Russian outlets, the closure of one news agency and "unprecedented" censorship.

Her comments came a day after Russia banned several websites notable for their criticism of the government and a blog run by a prominent opposition leader as the Kremlin intensified a crackdown on independent media amid tensions over Ukraine.