Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russian Liberal Radio Mainstay Ekho Moskvy Closes After Pulled Off Air

Ekho Moskvy Editor-in-Chief Alexey Venediktov. Sophia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s iconic liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) has been wound up after falling afoul of Russia’s censorship of coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Ekho’s board of directors voted to liquidate the station after Russia’s state censorship watchdog ordered its website blocked for spreading "deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel" as well as "information calling for extremist activity" and "violence." The station's broadcast was halted soon after.

The watchdog, Roskomnadzor, had previously instructed outlets covering the war in Ukraine to use only official Defense Ministry information, and banned words like “invasion,” “war” and “offensive” in favor of Russia’s preferred “special operation.”

Founded in 1990 during the Soviet Union’s dying days, Ekho Moskvy became a beacon for Russia’s democrats and liberals.

Taken off air only once before — during the hardline communist August Coup in 1991 — the station endured even as Russia took a sharp authoritarian turn.

Owned by gas giant Gazprom’s media arm, and helmed by veteran editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov, the station maintained a delicate balance between remaining relatively free and uncensored, and keeping up its connections with the Kremlin.

Venediktov’s own ties to the political elite — including his role in promoting a controversial electronic voting scheme for the State Duma elections last year — saw him reviled by much of Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more