LONDON- Russia on Friday blocked access to the Russian-language website of The Moscow Times due to a story about the conflict in Ukraine, the newspaper said.

The English-language website was unaffected though Russian internet providers started to block its Russian-language site after a notice from Russia's communications watchdog, the newspaper said.

Russia's communications watchdog did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The newspaper, which has has covered Russia for three decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, said on its English-language website that its Russian service was blocked after it published what "authorities call a false report on riot police officers refusing to fight in Ukraine".

The April 4 article was still on the newspaper's Russian website on Friday.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a special military operation to degrade its southern neighbour's military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.

Russia has placed restrictions on reporting on the conflict. Moscow says Western media have provided an excessively partial narrative of the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge Editing by Frances Kerry)