Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill introducing a new law which threatens to jail anyone Russia deems to have spread “fake” news on the armed forces.

The Kremlin objects to the conflict in Ukraine being called a war, saying instead its a “special military operation”.

Anyone deemed to be spreading information that goes against the Russian government’s position on the war in Ukraine, could be jailed for up to 15 years.

The bill criminalizing the intentional spreading of what Russia deems to be “fake” reports about the war, was quickly rubber-stamped by both houses of the Kremlin-controlled parliament on Friday.

Russian authorities have repeatedly decried reports of Russian military setbacks or civilian deaths in Ukraine as “fake” reports.

The BBC has responded by temporarily suspending its journalists’ work in Russia.

Yesterday one of Russia’s last independent news outlets, TV Rain, stopped broadcasting after coming under pressure for its coverage of the invasion.