The Committee to Protect Journalists has sent a letter to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to express its grave concern over the restrictions that he placed on what’s left of the country’s independent press.

The missive rolls through the roster of measures “taken over the past three months to eradicate Russian news outlets’ freedom to freely report and analyze news events.”

Putin dismantled RIA Novosti, the 72-year-old national news agency, in December and ordered it merge the state radio Golor Rossii, which is now headed by Dmitry Kiselyov, who is “known for his inflammatory anti-West and anti-gay rhetoric,” complained CPJ.

The watchdog knocked Putin’s decision to take down independent Internet and cable TV outlet, Dozhd, during the time it was broadcasting critical coverage of Russia and covering the mass protests in Kiev that led to the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych.

CPJ noted that Putin’s crackdown come “at a time of political crisis in Ukraine to which Russia is party.”

The group says independent media’s ability “to function without fear of harassment and obstruction is crucial for both Russia's domestic audience and the international community.”

The ability of Russia's independent media “to function without fear of harassment and obstruction is crucial for both Russia's domestic audience and the international community,” says CPJ’s letter.

The watchdog wants Putin to roll back his crackdown because it does   not fit with an image of a modern Russia.