Sunday 6/20/21
RUSSIA

Second Russian news site to close over 'foreign agent' designation

On Monday, newsru.com, one of Russia's oldest independent news portals, ceased operations after being labelled a "foreign agent."
HANDOUT - 29 May 2021, Russia, Sochi: Russian President Vladimir Putin stands on a boat during his informal meeting in Sochi with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as they take trip off the Black Sea coast. Photo: -/Kremlin/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
Russian President Vladimir Putin stands on a boat during his meeting in Sochi with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: Kremlin.

A second independent Russian media outlet has announced its closure within the span of a week due to growing political and economic pressure.

The editorial staff of the business portal VTimes said they took the drastic step due to the threat of prosecution by the Russian judiciary.

The news site had been declared a "foreign agent" in May, a designation that scares off advertisers and unfairly paints the site into the corner of the political opposition, the editors complained.

By law, media outlets in Russia must register as "foreign agents" if they receive money from abroad.

The portal Meduza, which is critical of the Kremlin, was also recently added to this register by the Ministry of Justice and is now fighting for survival.

The EU and the organization Reporters without Borders have criticized the actions of the Russian judiciary as an attack on press freedom.

Cease on Independence Day

On Monday, newsru.com, one of Russia's oldest independent news portals, ceased operations after being labelled a "foreign agent."

VTimes announced that it would continue for just under two more weeks and would cease operations on 12 June - on Independence Day in Russia.

The editorial team had been founded a year ago by former members of the renowned Moscow daily Vedomosti after it was taken over by a new owner whom they accused of censorship.

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