Writer Dmitry Bykov, journalists Evgenia Albats and Dmitry Aleshkovsky recognized as “foreign agents”

The Ministry of Justice recognized the writer Dmitry Bykov, as well as the editor-in-chief of The New Times, Evgenia Albats, and the co-founder of the Need Help Foundation, Dmitry Aleshkovsky, as “foreign agents”.

In July, the founder of The New Times magazine Novye Vremya LLC and editor-in-chief Evgenia Albats were fined 670,000 rubles for publishing about the war in Ukraine. Albats and the publication were found guilty of spreading “fake news” about the army (part 9 of article 13.15 of the Code of Administrative Offenses). The founder was fined twice at 300,000 rubles each, and the editor-in-chief - 70,000 (with the upper limit of 200,000 rubles).

In 2017, Russia adopted a law on the media-“foreign agents”. According to it, any media outlet that receives funding or property from abroad can be recognized as a “foreign agent”. In 2019, a new law was adopted, which made it possible to classify as "foreign agents" not only legal entities, but also individuals. Over the past years, hundreds of media, NGOs and individuals have been included in the registers of “foreign agents”. The first five people - human rights activist Lev Ponomarev, journalists Lyudmila Savitskaya, Sergey Markelov and Denis Kamalyagin, as well as civil activist Daria Apakhonchich - were included in the corresponding list on December 28, 2020. Later, this status was assigned to Meduza and the First Anti-Corruption Media. On May 14, VTimes was recognized as a “foreign agent” media outlet, the editors of which later decided to close the media outlet due to the new status.

In addition, after the start of the war, Roskomnadzor demanded that the Russian media, when covering the invasion of Ukraine, use only the wording “special operation”. After the introduction of the law on “fakes” about the Russian army, The Insider, Radio Liberty, Current Time, Crimea.Realii, Voice of America, New Times, Taiga.info, DOXA, Ekho Moskvy were blocked ”, “Rain”, “Medusa”, BBC Russian Service, Deutsche Welle and others. TV channel "Rain", radio "Echo of Moscow" and the Tomsk agency TV2 decided to stop working.

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