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Oligarch Buys Independent Russian News Outlet RBC

Maxim Stulov / TASS

Independent Russian news outlet RBC has been bought by oligarch Grigory Berezkin, Russia's Dozhd television channel reported Friday.

Berezkin, who already owns Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda and Metro newspapers, signed the deal with current owner Mikahil Prokhorov, unnamed sources told the channel.

Berezkin told Dozhd said that he could not confirm the deal, while representatives for Prokhorov refused to comment.

RBC announced Prokhorov was selling the company in April 2017, sparking speculation that Kremlin pressure may have prompted the decision.

Three of the outlet's top editors left the publication in May 2016 amid allegations that the outlet's investigative reporting on the Panama Papers scandal had angered government officials.

In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper, former chief editor Yelizaveta Osetinskaya compared RBC's work to "waving a red rag" at the Kremlin.

Other reports that drew Kremlin ire included articles on the wealth of President Vladimir Putin's alleged family members and a Black Sea mansion dubbed “Putin's Palace."

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