Moscow police demand people's phones and read their messages 4 months ago

Moscow police demand people's phones and read their messages

Information on the invasion of Ukraine is tightly controlled in Russia

Shocking footage has emerged online of police officers in Moscow demanding the phones of passers-by, before reading their messages.


In a post on Twitter sharing the footage, Kevin Rothrock wrote: "Police officers in Moscow today are stopping people, demanding to see their phones, READING THEIR MESSAGES, and refusing to release them if they refuse."

In the clip, one of the officers is looking at a man's phone whilst he stands next to him, with another clearly scrolling through the phone of another man as he watches on.


In a follow-up tweet, he described the officers' actions as "illegal as hell." When the journalist filming the scene asked them on what grounds they were checking people's phones, they apparently ignored her question.


The control that the state has over the media in Russia means that many have only been fed lies and propaganda from news channels in the country, such as being told that Russia has invaded Ukraine to liberate it from "neo-Nazis."

There is a very strict control over what the public see and consume on TV, and this may explain why these officers were keen to know whether people are getting outside information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Previous attempts from the state to control what the public see include the use of a 12-year-old child star in a propaganda film which makes no mention of the war, and putting primary school children behind bars for "waving anti-war signs."

Related links: