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Esquire Editor Fined for 'Promoting' Drugs

The editor-in-chief of the Russian version of Esquire Dmitry Golubovsky was fined 40,000 rubles ($1,360) for the illegal promotion and advertising of drugs, a spokesperson for the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service told Interfax Thursday.

"We had an article in which ... a user from an encrypted conspiratorial website that hosts some illegal content was quoted," Golubovsky told Gazeta.ru.

He would not discuss specifics of the article in question, but said the magazine did not have any intention of promoting the use or sale of drugs.

"We did not aim to promote and advertise anything,” he said.

He said the article, published in December, was removed from the magazine's website at the insistence of the media supervisory agency.

In recent years, the Russian version of Esquire has become known for its critical stance toward the government. The December issue of the magazine featured opposition leader Alexei Navalny on the front cover.

Golubovsky has been the head of Russian Esquire since October 2011, when he replaced outgoing editor-in-chief Filipp Bakhtin. The magazine is owned by Sanoma Independent Media, the parent company of The Moscow Times.

Launched in 2005, Russian Esquire has a circulation of 135,000.

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