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Novaya Gazeta, One of Russia's Last Critical Papers, May Go Out of Print

Outspoken investigative Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, part-owned by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, could stop its print circulation this summer, the newspaper's editor said Thursday.

"It is perfectly possible that after celebrating Victory Day in May with a special edition we will stop our print edition," editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov told television station Dozhd. He did not say whether Novaya Gazeta's website would continue to operate after the May 9 holiday.

Muratov said the paper could not compete with state-sponsored rivals, adding that Novaya Gazeta was hamstrung by a political system that has scared off advertisers, shareholders and investors. Novaya Gazeta is known for its investigative journalism and is often critical of Russian authorities and the Kremlin.

It received a warning from Russia's media watchdog in October for its supposedly "extremist" exposes on Russian troops believed to have been killed while fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Muratov also said that "one of the [paper's] owners is under constant pressure because [authorities] think he influences editorial policy," according to Dozhd.

Alexander Lebedev, the Russian billionaire owner of a number of British newspapers, is a major shareholder, along with Gorbachev and the paper's staff.

Russian independent newspapers, both local and national, are under pressure from falling advertising revenues and rising print costs. Their subsidized state-owned rivals are less vulnerable.

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