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Forbes Russia Publisher Sues Ex-Editor for Defamation, Disclosure of Secrets

Forbes publisher Alexander Fedotov/ Maxim Grigoryev/ TASS

The publisher of Forbes Russia has reportedly filed lawsuits against a former editor of the magazine alleging defamation and the disclosure of trade secrets amid reports that staffers have been without pay for at least two weeks.

Russian publisher Alexander Fedotov took over the business magazine’s license in 2015 after Russia restricted foreign media companies from owning assets in the country. Since then, the business magazine has gone through a series of scandals and editorial resignations, with chief editor Nikolai Uskov fired in June under disputed circumstances.

“Uskov distributes information that, in the opinion of our lawyers, defames the honor, dignity and business reputation of Alexander Fedotov, as Uskov accuses him of meddling in editorial policy," a spokesman for Fedotov’s publishing group ACMG told Interfax on Tuesday.

Both lawsuits relate to statements made by Uskov during an interview with the television channel Dozhd.

The lawsuit is just one of several issues plaguing Forbes Russia in recent weeks.

Less than 24 hours before the lawsuit was announced, an unnamed source told Interfax that Forbes staffers had not been paid for at least two weeks. Forbes reporter Sergei Titov confirmed the wage arrears in a Facebook post.

Two weeks earlier, Nikolai Mazurin, who replaced Uksov as editor, was let go after allegations that he held back a print feature on the jailed oligarch brothers Magomed and Ziyavudin Magomedov.

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