Freedom of the Press
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Press Freedom Score (0 = best, 100 = worst)
Legal Environment(0 = best, 30 = worst)
Political Environment(0 = best, 40 = worst)
Economic Environment(0 = best, 30 = worst)
Online media have developed rapidly and an estimated 30 percent of the population is now online, and the internet remains relatively freer than other news media in Russia, with most websites remaining available and a wide range of views being expressed. However, the authorities have increasingly engaged in intentional content removal and manipulation of online expression. Kremlin allies have purchased several independent online newspapers or created their own progovernment news websites, and they are reportedly cultivating a network of bloggers who are paid to produce pro-Kremlin propaganda. The FSB continued widespread monitoring of e-mail and web posts during 2009, while government officials harassed some news websites and bloggers. In September, freelance journalist and human rights activist Aleksandr Podrabinek was forced into hiding after receiving numerous threats and having his Moscow apartment building picketed by members of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi in retaliation for an online article criticizing veterans for ignoring Soviet crimes committed during World War II.