Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Stem Cell Company Wins Biggest Damages in Russian Media History From Magazine

Gemabank is Russia's largest umbilical cord blood bank.

A Moscow court has ordered the media holding behind weekly magazine Russky Reportyor to pay nearly $1 million in compensation to a biotechnological company over an article in what amounts to the largest fine handed down in Russian media history.

In the article "Money for Baby's Blood" published in January last year, Russky Reportyor (Russian Reporter) alleged that Gemabank — the country's largest umbilical cord blood bank — had disseminated false information about the healing powers of umbilical cord blood while aggressively promoting its services in maternity wards, legal news site Pravo.ru reported Wednesday.

The Human Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), an open joint-stock company that owns Gemabank, asked Russky Reportyor to remove the article from its website, but their request was refused at the time, the report said.

HSCI said in an online statement that it had suffered both reputational and financial losses as a result of the article, and was seeking 75.9 million rubles ($1.6 million) in compensation from the Expert media holding, which owns Russky Reportyor.

HSCI filed a complaint last June, and last week Moscow's Arbitration Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering Expert to pay 46.5 million rubles ($977,000) in compensation — reportedly the largest fine handed down in Russian media history, various publications reported.

HSCI itself said in a statement that it had been awarded 44.4 million rubles ($941,000). The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear. In addition, Russky Reportyor was ordered to remove the offending article from its website.

"We are pleased with the court decision … [which] is very important not only for Gemabank and the development of umbilical blood cell usage in the medical practice, but also for journalism and business in general. Journalists will become more aware of their responsibilities, [and] the power and price of their words," HSCI director Artur Isayev was quoted as saying in a statement on his company's website.

Russky Reportyor was launched in 2007 and covers topics ranging from politics and economics to culture and sport. Since 2010, it has also had the right to publish cables taken from the WikiLeaks website, which was set up by political activist Julian Assange to publish classified information.

Contact the author at j.monaghan@imedia.ru

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more