The United States accused Russia on Wednesday of launching a “full war on media freedom and the truth” by blocking independent news outlets and preventing Russians from hearing news of the invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s government is also throttling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms that tens of millions of Russia’s citizens rely on to access independent information and opinions,” the State Department said in a statement.
Russians also used social media to connect to each other and the outside world, it added.
South Africans in Ukraine share their experience
AU decries reports of ill treatment as Africans try to flee Ukraine
The African Union (AU) said on Monday that it was disturbed by reports that African citizens in Ukraine are being refused the right to cross borders to safety as they try to flee the conflict in Ukraine.
Thousands of African and other foreign nationals, particularly students, have been scrambling to leave Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
But as hundreds of thousands throng to Ukraine’s borders, overwhelming authorities in neighbouring countries, reports have emerged that Africans are being treated differently and sometimes prevented from leaving.
Several have shared videos and testimonies on social media, denouncing discrimination at train stations and border posts.
Reuters has not been able to authenticate the videos.
“Reports that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist and in breach of international law,” AU Chair, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, and Moussa Faki Mahamat head of AU Commission said in a joint statement.
The statement added that all people have the right to cross international borders during conflict, and should enjoy the same rights to cross to safety from the conflict in Ukraine, notwithstanding their nationality or racial identity.
Plight of Africans caught up in Russia-Ukraine crossfire