As the Russian military escalates its invasion in Ukraine, Russian police are cracking down on antiwar protesters at home, arresting more than 8,000 over the past eight days. Meanwhile, Russia’s lower house of parliament has passed a new law to criminalize the distribution of what the state considers to be “false news” about military operations, and remaining independent news outlets in the country are shutting down under pressure from the authorities. Democracy Now! speaks with Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair for the leading Russian environmental organization Ecodefense, who won the 2021 Right Livelihood Award — the “alternative Nobel Peace Prize” — for defending the environment and mobilizing grassroots opposition to the coal and nuclear industries in Russia. Slivyak describes Putin’s attempts to shut down independent media within Russia and the “pure propaganda” his regime is spreading on state-sponsored media to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
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