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Russia declares independent media outlet VTimes ‘international agent’

The time period carries adverse Soviet-era connotations and topics these designated to heightened bureaucratic scrutiny.

Reuters | , Moscow

PUBLISHED ON MAY 14, 2021 06:29 PM IST



Russia’s justice ministry on Friday declared on-line information outlet VTimes a “foreign agent” media organisation, a transfer that can require it to label itself as such and topic it to elevated scrutiny by the authorities.

VTimes was arrange final year by a gaggle of journalists who give up Vedomosti, a prime Russian business newspaper, after accusing their new editor-in-chief of introducing pro-Kremlin censorship.

VTimes and its writer, Alexander Gubsky, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Russia makes use of the “foreign agent” designation to label foreign-funded organisations it says are engaged in political exercise. The time period carries adverse Soviet-era connotations and topics these designated to heightened bureaucratic scrutiny.

It requires retailers to publish 24-word disclaimers saying their publications are distributed by a media outlet “fulfilling the function of a foreign agent”.

Last month Russia utilized the label to Meduza, a well-liked independent information website, in a transfer the company says is destroying its business and hindering its capacity to practise journalism.

U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has additionally obtained the designation and has been fined closely for flouting it.

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