The Bloomberg News agency announced on Friday that it is suspending the work of its journalists in Russia after a law was adopted that sanctions the dissemination of “false information about the army” and its attack on Ukraine.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to temporarily suspend our intelligence-gathering work in Russia,” its editor-in-chief, John Micklethwait, said in an article posted on its website.

“The change in the penal code, which seems designed to turn any independent journalist into a criminal by mere association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country,” he said.

The American chain CNN announced for its part that “it will stop broadcasting in Russia while it continues to evaluate the situation and the next steps it will take.”

The deputies of the lower house of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) unanimously adopted an amendment that provides for penalties of up to 15 years in prison if information is disclosed that seeks to “discredit” the armed forces.

Another amendment that went ahead this Friday contemplates punishments for those who ask for “sanctions against Russia  , just when the country faces great penalties from Western countries for the attack on Ukraine.

British public broadcaster BBC announced on Friday that it is withdrawing its journalists from Russia. “This legislation appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism. It leaves us no choice but to temporarily suspend work,” CEO Tim Davie said in a statement.

He added that he did not want to “expose his journalists to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their job.”

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