Russia imposes new restrictions on any reporting of Roscosmos

According to this report of today’s launch by Russia of a movie crew to ISS, Putin’s government has just passed new restrictions on reporting of its space effort by Russian citizens, either in or out of Russia.

The new regulations, which took effect on September 29, 2021, essentially prohibit Russians from reporting on the Russian space program outside of Russia. Violators of these regulations will be classified as “foreign agents” — which would create numerous legal issues for Russian citizens.

Specifically, the new regulations target the field of military and technical activities that are not related to or connected in any way with state secrets but which, with vague language, “can be used against Russia.” Most of the activities on the newly released list by the FSB specifically focus on Roscosmos. Prohibited topics of reporting regarding Roscosmos now include information on investigations conducted by the agency, the organization’s financials, condition of rockets and ground support equipment, development plans for Roscosmos vehicles, Roscosmos’ cooperation with other nations for space activities, and new technologies.

These rules essentially forbid Russian citizens from publishing almost anything that Roscosmos itself does not publish. If they do so without permission from outside the country, returning to Russia will become very problematic.