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Russia: US Embassy in Moscow spreading fake news about Ukraine war

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A view of the US Embassy in Moscow (photo by AP)

Russia says US diplomats at the embassy in Moscow are spreading fake news about the Russian war with Ukraine.

Citing a senior Russian Foreign Ministry source, TASS news agency reported that an official note, which accused the US Embassy of interfering in Russia's internal affairs, had been delivered to the diplomatic mission on Tuesday.

The note was a harsh message to Lynne Tracy, the new US ambassador to Moscow, who arrived in the Russian capital last month. Tracy had reportedly been told she must strictly adhere to Russian law when making any statements about Russia's armed forces in Ukraine.

The note accused US diplomats of making "inappropriate" statements about the Russian leadership. It also warned that US diplomats purportedly engaging in "subversive activities" would be expelled.

In recent months, Russia has declared several American diplomats at the US Embassy in Moscow "persona non grata" and has expelled them in response to an earlier move by Washington ousting Russian representatives to the United Nations.

After the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine last year, the Russian parliament passed a law providing for jail terms of up to 15 years for intentionally spreading "fake" news about Russian troops in Ukraine.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that false information has been spread by Russia's enemies such as the United States and its Western European allies in an attempt to sow discord among the Russian people.

Moscow has taken measures against mainstream Western media outlets based in the country, after they imposed new sanctions targeting Russian state media.

Several Western countries have announced sanctions on Russian entities and individuals, including state media organizations behind RT (Russia Today), Sputnik news channel, and some senior figures, saying they are targeting those who promote President Vladimir Putin's "fake news and narratives."

Russia restricted access to the websites of several foreign news organizations, after the European Union (EU) and Britain blocked Russian media outlets. Russia restricted access to BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle, and other media outlets for spreading "fake" information.

Russian officials say Western media have failed to report on what they cast as the "genocide" of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.

Russia launched what it calls "a special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, over the perceived threat of the ex-Soviet republic joining NATO. Since then, the United States and Ukraine's other allies have sent Kiev tens of billions of dollars' worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems.

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