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    Russia puts new media restrictions ahead of presidential election

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved changes to a law that will put new media restrictions for coverage of next year's presidential election, according to local news stations.

    The revisions he endorsed stipulate that solely journalists under contract with registered media outlets will have the authorisation to report on election commission meetings, posing a potential restriction on freelancers and independent journalists.

    Furthermore, the alterations explicitly prohibit coverage of the commission's activities on military bases or in regions under martial law unless prior approval is granted by regional and military authorities.

    Additionally, the amendments bar campaign activities on "blocked resources." Amid an escalating crackdown on opposition and information dissemination, Russia has imposed bans on numerous websites and services, such as Facebook and Instagram. Despite these restrictions, many individuals resort to VPNs to bypass the blockades.

    Putin, who has been president for 24 years, has not yet announced if he will be running for another six-year term.

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