The "New York Times" removes all its journalists from Russia, fearing arrests due to the recent changes to the Criminal Code of Russia penalizing "falsehoods" about the Russian Armed Forces or the country's invasion of Ukraine.
Sources: The Hill
Sources: The Hill
Russia's Ministry of Transport prepares a draft regulation which would allow airlines to not have to honour the request of the lessor to return leased aircraft unless a special government commission orders them to do so and would also allow companies to pay the lessor in rubles. The law comes amid EU sanctions which forces all lease contracts for Russian aircraft to be voided by late March and also forbids E.U. companies from insuring Russian aircraft.
Facebook and Instagram starts to allow users in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and the Caucasus to promote violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the war in Ukraine, which is normally restricted, according to internal emails. A Meta spokesperson states that "As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as 'death to the Russian invaders.'" However, calls for violence against Russian prisoners of war and "credible calls for violence against Russian civilians" will remain prohibited. Death threats against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will also be permitted. Meta's spokesperson adds that they are, "for the time being, making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard," which was previously forbidden.
The Russian government abolishes penalties for theft of patents if they are held by natural or legal persons from countries considered by the Russian government as "unfriendly". The decriminalisation of the piracy of software from "unfriendly" countries is also being considered.
The Ukrainian state grid operator warns that Russian forces, which are in control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, have disconnected the plant from the electricity grid, which the operator says will impact nuclear fuel cooling, and which also caused a blackout in the nearby city of Slavutych. The nuclear plant previously suspended all communications with the IAEA, the United Nations-based organisation specialising in nuclear energy production.
An investigation by the BBC into the involvement of the Russian Wagner Group in the war reveals that the group committed several war crimes, including the intentional killing of prisoners of war and civilians and the leaving of unmarked mines in civilian areas. The investigation also finds that Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was involved in the group's operations, and that the group likely received weapons and supplies from the Russian military.