In an attempt to tighten controls over what information Russian citizens can see about the invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has blocked Facebook and Twitter and introduced a new law criminalising the “intentional spreading of what Moscow deems to be “fake” reports”. From now on, everyone who shares information that goes against the Russian government’s narrative on the war can risk prison sentences of up to 15 years.
Member states of the EU have agreed on the fourth package of sanctions against Russia as a consequence of its invasion of Ukraine. They consist of an import ban on Russian steel and iron, an export ban on luxury goods including cars worth more than 50,000 euros, and a ban on investments in oil companies and the energy sector. Moreover, the package will block access to funds from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
President Putin has announced he could find legally viable ways to seize international firms by introducing external management and transferring these enterprises to those who want to work. It could also be possible to take temporary control of departing businesses where foreign ownership exceeds 25%.
Source: The Guardian
From 7 March 2022, intellectual property rights will not be paid to patent holders from “unfriendly countries”, among which all the EU members. This measure has been adopted to respond to Western sanctions in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and is considered, according to international law, intellectual property piracy.
Many in Russia wrote farewell posts on their Instagram account and directed their followers to other social media platforms such as Telegram. The app was officially blocked by the government. As a consequence, demand for VPN services in Russia skyrocketed 2,088 per cent. At the beginning of March, Moscow had also blocked Facebook.
Source: Financial Times
Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office, which prosecutes terrorism, spying, and genocide-related crimes, began gathering evidence about possible deliberate attacks on the civilian population and Ukrainian infrastructure by Russian invaders. German investigators are collecting evidence of the use of weapons such as cluster bombs and alleged death lists of Ukrainian politicians and activists.
According to President Zelenskiy, eleven Ukrainian political parties have been suspended for the period of martial law as a consequence of their connections to Russia. The aim is, according to Zelenskiy, to limit these politicians' attempts to divide society. Most of these parties were small, but one of them, the Opposition Platform “For Life”, has 44 seats in the Ukrainian parliament. The leader of the party, the oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, has close ties to President Putin.
Two Ukrainian prisoners, aged 27 and 29, have been released by a court in Breda. They were arrested in September 2021 after trying to smuggle a group of Albanians into the UK. The lawyer of Ukrainians asked for their release so that they could go back home and defend their country from the invasion. The court granted their release. The Dutch court showed solidarity with the Ukrainian president and his desicion to release from custody Ukrainians with combat experience so they can compensate for their guilt helping in the military conflict.