Russia bans Moscow Times online news outlet

by Admin
Russia bans Moscow Times online news outlet

Russia declared The Moscow Times an “undesirable organization” on Wednesday, banning the media outlet’s operations within Russia and threatening criminal prosecution of anyone who collaborates with it.

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office accused the independent news outlet of “discrediting the decisions of the leadership of the Russian Federation in both foreign and domestic policy.”

In response to the designation, The Moscow Times said it had anticipated the action and promised to continue its work. It acknowledged that interaction with the publication in Russia now carries the risk of criminal charges, but it vowed to persist despite the challenges.

Founded in 1992, The Moscow Times publishes in English and Russian. It relocated to Amsterdam following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The outlet has employed notable journalists, including Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter currently held in Russia on espionage charges that he and his employer deny.

Being labeled “undesirable” mandates that organizations cease their activities in Russia, with severe penalties for Russians involved in supporting or collaborating with them, potentially resulting in up to five years in prison.

“Of course, we will continue with our work as usual: independent journalism. That’s a crime in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s Russia,” Moscow Times’ founder Derk Sauer said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Previously, Russian authorities had designated The Moscow Times a “foreign agent” and blocked access to its website within Russia.

The “undesirable organization” label is part of a Kremlin strategy to target media outlets and nongovernmental organizations that it accuses of supporting opposition movements.

Critics have said the actions are meant to silence dissent.

Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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