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Russia Names 4 More Independent Media Outlets ‘Foreign Agents’

Kremlin critics accuse authorities of carrying out a renewed clampdown on independent media in recent months. Vladislav Shatilo / RBC / TASS

Russia has named four more media outlets as “foreign agents” amid what critics call a widening clampdown on independent journalism.

"On Sept. 3, the Justice Ministry of Russia entered the following legal entities into the register of foreign media performing the functions of a foreign agent: Altair 2021 LLC, Vega 2021 LLC, Editor-in-Chief 2021 LLC and Romashki Monolit LLC,” the Justice Ministry announced in a statement Friday. 

Each of these outlets were created by Russian journalists who had earlier been named “foreign agents” themselves: former Open Media journalists Maxim Glikin (Altair 2021 LLC) and Ilya Rozhdestvensky (Vega 2021 LLC); former Open Media editor-in-chief Yulia Yarosh (Editor-in-chief 2021 LLC); and former Proekt journalists Yulia Lukyanova, Sonya Groysman, Maria Zheleznova, Olga Churakova and Pyotr Manyakhin (Romashki Monolit LLC).

Both Open Media and Proekt closed down this summer, with the former having its website blocked and the latter being banned as an “undesirable” organization. 

"In this case, we are talking about the conscientious observance by these citizens of the requirements of the law established for persons included in the register and [the move is] aimed at increasing the transparency of their activities," the Justice Ministry’s statement said. 

Organizations branded “foreign agents” are subject to rigorous financial reporting requirements and legally required to add the designation to everything they publish, including social media posts.

Kremlin critics accuse authorities of carrying out a renewed clampdown on independent media in the months leading up to Sept. 19 parliamentary elections by naming several outlets and journalists “foreign agents” or “undesirable” organizations. The Kremlin denies those claims.

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