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Newspaper critical of the Kremlin, Novaya Gazeta, temporarily suspended

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The critical Kremlin newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” will temporarily cease publication due to pressure from the Russian authorities until the end of the war in Ukraine. The online and paper editions will stop appearing “until the end of the ‘special operation on the territory of Ukraine,'” the editors said Monday on the Twitter short-messaging service, which is blocked in Russia. The newspaper, run by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, is one of the last remaining independent media outlets in Russia.

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The reason given by “Novaya Gazeta” was that the editorial team had now received the second warning from the media regulator Roskomnadzor. Two such warning letters from Russian authorities threatened to withdraw the license, he said. Consequently, the newspaper is said to have neglected to mention the addition “foreign agent” in an article. Anyone who receives money from abroad as a non-governmental organization or as a media outlet, for example, must be described as “foreign agents” on instructions from the authorities. Many patients criticize the term as stigmatizing.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the move as “a consequence of censorship and years of systematic intimidation by the Russian authorities.” He spoke of “systematic action against independent media in Russia.” “This media censorship goes hand in hand with state-controlled media manipulation and misinformation of Russian audiences in the context of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine.”

Editor-in-chief Muratov had publicly criticized Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine. Following the enactment of a new law restricting freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Russia, the newspaper refrained from writing about a “war”. The word is prohibited in Russia. However, the “Nowaya Gazeta” recently published extensive reports on the suffering of the people in the wake of the war. (dpa)

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