Updated Mar 28, 2022 - World

Kremlin censors Zelensky's interview with Russian journalists

 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference at his official residence the Maryinsky Palace on March 3,2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference at his official residence the Maryinsky Palace in Kyiv earlier this month. Photo: Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Kremlin censored his interview with Russian journalists Sunday because it's "frightened" of the truth about the invasion of Ukraine being reported in Russia.

Driving the news: Hours after Zelensky posted the 90-minute interview in which he spoke Russian to his Telegram channel, Russia's government issued a statement warning Russian news outlets "about the necessity of refraining from publishing" Zelensky's 90-minute interview with the journalists, per state media.

  • While journalists based outside Russia published the interview, those still inside the country did not, the New York Times notes.

Why it matters: The Kremlin's actions underscore Zelensky's efforts to bypass Russian President Vladimir Putin's strict censorship of news about his forces' invasion of Ukraine.

What he's saying: Zelensky said during his Sunday night televised address that the actions of Moscow's media watchdog, which he called "the Russian censorship agency," would be "ridiculous if it wasn't so tragic."

  • "They destroyed freedom of speech in their state, they are trying to destroy the neighboring state," he said, according to an English translation of his address posted on the official presidential website.
  • "They portray themselves as global players. And they themselves are afraid of a relatively short conversation with several journalists," he added.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further context on Russia's censorship.

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