The BBC has resumed reporting from Russia after suspending it last week in light of draconian new censorship laws.

“We have considered the implications of the new legislation alongside the urgent need to report from inside Russia,” the broadcaster said in a statement. “After careful deliberation we have decided to resume English language reporting from Russia this evening (Tuesday March 8), after it was temporarily suspended at the end of last week.”

“We will tell this crucial part of the story independently and impartially, adhering to the BBC’s strict editorial standards. The safety of our staff in Russia remains our number one priority.”

Last week the BBC suspended journalism work within the country following the introduction of new laws that could see journalists fined, imprisoned or even punished with “forced labor” for reporting on the country’s assault of Ukraine.

After the laws were passed, the BBC’s director general Tim Davie said: “This legislation appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism. It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development. Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia.”

“The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs. I’d like to pay tribute to all of them, for their bravery, determination and professionalism.”

The decision comes following news that both Russians and Ukrainians were switching onto BBC News in record numbers following Russia’s invasion.