MOSCOW - The Ekho Moskvy radio station -- a symbol of new-found media freedom in post-Soviet Russia said Thursday it would shut down after being taken off air over its coverage of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. “By a majority vote of the Ekho Moskvy board of directors, it was decided to liquidate the Ekho Moskvy radio station and website,” its editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said on Telegram.

Russia on Monday blocked the Ekho website and took the station off air for spreading “deliberately false information” about the war in Ukraine.

Venediktov said Russia’s media regulator requested that Google delete Ekho Moskvy’s app from its store.

The past year has seen an unprecedented crackdown on independent and critical voices in Russia that only intensified after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian media have been instructed to only publish information provided by official sources, which describe the invasion as a military operation.

At the same time, the government is preparing to tighten its repressive legal arsenal. On Friday, lawmakers will consider a bill providing for up to 15 years in prison for any publication of “fake news” concerning the Russian armed forces. Ekho Mosvky -- which is majority-owned by Russia’s energy giant Gazprom -- was founded in 1990 during the final days of the Soviet Union. It had established itself as one of the country’s leading liberal media.