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Russian Foreign Ministry Ousts Leading Journalist From Pool After Anti-War Letter

Kommersant special correspondent Elena Chernenko (L) Roman Dorofeev / Kommersant

A leading Russian journalist who organized an open letter against Russia’s war in Ukraine has been barred from attending Foreign Ministry events.

More than 200 journalists — including at state outlets — added their names to a letter drafted by Kommersant special correspondent Elena Chernenko which stated there was “no justification for war” and that military action “was never and will never be a way to resolve problems.”

As a result of the letter, Chernenko was kicked out of the Foreign Ministry pool of journalists — accredited reporters that follow Sergei Lavrov and get access to official events and press conferences — on Friday for “unprofessionalism,” she wrote on Telegram.

In her Telegram post, Chernenko said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told her that she had "set people up" and was "hiding behind their backs.”

She urged Zakharova not to punish the letter's other signatories.

The journalists' letter organized by Chernenko was one of many public proclamations of resistance among Russians, with public figures, celebrities, scientists, municipal deputies and more also penning open letters.

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