Russia’s top independent newspaper suspends publication
Russia’s top independent newspaper is suspending publication after receiving two warnings from Russia’s media and telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor.
The second warning, issued on Monday, threatened to close the outlet or rescind its license, according to The New York Times.
The notices are in line with a crackdown in Russia on all media in the country that stray from the line of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has sought to completely control the narrative on his invasion of Ukraine.
The Times reported that Novaya Gazeta’s suspension means zero new organizations critical of the Kremlin are operating in the country.
“We are forced to suspend the publication of the newspaper and not update the website and our social networks until the end of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine,” Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov told subscribers in an email on Monday, according to the Times.
“For us, and, I know, for you, this is a terrible and difficult decision. But we must preserve each other, for each other,” he added.
Russia has separately cracked down on social media, blocking access to Facebook and Twitter. It has made it difficult for news organizations to offer their programming, shutting down access to sites such the BBC and Voice of America.
Some news organizations have also been forced to move reporters out of Russia for fear they could get caught up in a new law that says journalists who describe the invasion of Ukraine as a war can be put in prison.
Putin has argued, falsely, that Russia forces have entered Ukraine to denazify the country. Ukraine’s president is Jewish.
Muratov, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, told the Times in an interview that his publication “kept working until the last possible second.”
Muratov made headlines last week when announcing that he and Novaya Gazeta would donate his 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Medal to the Ukrainian Refugee Fund to be auctioned. He said the proceeds would help raise money for individuals fleeing Ukraine.
“There are already over 10 million refugees,” Muratov said, according to Reuters. “I ask the auction houses to respond and put up for auction this world-famous award.”
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