Cambodian news service says Russia backs VOD closure

The church-backed independent news outlet is accused of being ‘a US misinformation agency’.

Cambodia’s semi-official Fresh News has claimed Russia has backed Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decision to close Voice of Democracy (VOD) as local, government-friendly media ramped up the vilification of former staff of the independent news outlet.

The support was apparently offered alongside military aid at a press conference held by the Russian embassy in Phnom Penh on Feb. 17 when deputy military attaché Colonel Sergei Shumilin said: “If Cambodia needs any military assistance from Russia, we are ready to provide.”

Headlined “Russia Supports the Shutdown of VOD,” Fresh News quoted Russian press attaché Rafael Iangareev as saying “the Russian Federation has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country” in response to a question regarding the closure.

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