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Russia moves to ban troops from using smartphones

AFP  |  Moscow 

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill that would ban soldiers from using while on duty to post online or give information to media.

The move comes after journalists have used photos and videos posted on by troops to gain information on Russia's military involvement in and in -- where and its Western allies say gives military backing to pro-Russian separatists.

The has long sought to limit troops' use of to avoid information leaks.

The Meduza independent site wrote that with the bill "we will know less about hazing and the military in " The defence committee of the lower house of parliament, which wrote the legislation, said it aimed to ensure "national security" in the "sphere of information" and to cover information that is not classed as a military secret.

The bill bans troops from carrying "electronic devices" that can post video and or reveal their geo-locations.

It bans troops, conscripts and reservists from informing media or putting that reveals they or others are in the military, describes their duties or gives their location.

It also bans giving out information about the actions of military commanders or the locations of military headquarters.

MPs in the voted on the key second reading of the bill, which will be followed by a final reading, a vote and then a signing by

The bill warns that and "terrorist" organisations are interested in the activities of Russian troops, particularly those serving in Syria, where has been carrying out a military intervention since 2015 to back

It says that information posted online or given to media could be used to form a "prejudiced view of policies." Soldiers who broke the law could be given early discharge.

Basic without cameras will not be banned, and troops will still be able to use while off-duty, the first deputy chief of the defence committee, told TASS state agency.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 23:20 IST