A newspaper in the annexed Crimean peninsula has been reportedly pulled from circulation over controversial coverage of pro-Kremlin journalist Dmitry Kiselyov’s lavish villa.
Kiselyov, 64, mentioned he had taken out a 10-year loan to build a house in the Crimean resort of Koktebel in a 2006 interview with Ukrainian media. He is under European Union sanctions for having “actively participated in propaganda” supporting Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Gorod24 publication author Vladimir Mazurin told Russia’s investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper on Monday that the entire print run of a recent issue was taken out of circulation because of his coverage of Kiselyov’s residence.
He alleged the online edition of his article was replaced with an advertisement. Searches on the Gorod24 website for Kiselyov have brought up zero results.
“As for the paper circulation, the newspaper’s editor was forced to buy it out at his own expense,” Mazurin was quoted as saying.
Kiselyov later told the Govorit Moskva radio station that he had filed a fraud and extortion lawsuit against Mazurin.
“Mazurin is simply a crook. He extorts money. All his figures are made up,” he was quoted as saying.
“All the documents on the house are in good order,” he said.
Update: On Tuesday, the owner of the Gorod24 newspaper, Maksim Onishenko, denied reports that the print run had been pulled.
"The newspaper was not pulled from circulation," he said in comments to the Govorit Moskva radio station.
"There was a reshuffle because of a mistake in an advertisement. The people who spread this information have turned everything upside down," he added.