Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Media Ordered to Remove Photo of Anti-Putin Graffiti

Navalny St. Petersburg Headquarters / Twitter

A Russian state agency charged with overseeing media and blocking websites has forced at least one news outlet to take down a photograph of graffiti critical of President Vladimir Putin. 

Police in St. Petersburg detained supporters of liberal presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak on Sunday on suspicion of spray painting the phrase “Against Putin” on a frozen river. Putin is widely expected to win a fourth presidential term in elections scheduled for March 18. 

On Monday, the St. Petersburg-based Business News Agency said it was ordered by a local branch of the state media watchdog Roskomnadzor to remove the photograph of the graffiti from the river.

“We can’t display the protesters’ slogan at the urgent request of Roskomnadzor,” the agency wrote in a text superimposed on the graffiti while keeping the photo of the frozen Fontanka River intact, as seen in a picture tweeted by local activists.

The Mediazona news website later reported that two other St. Petersburg-based news outlets had removed the photographs from their coverage of the activists’ arrests.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.