Russian authorities have added Latvia-based independent Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe to the country's list of “undesirable” organizations.
The designation means the outlet must cease all operations inside Russia and makes it a crime to engage with the publication in any way, including sharing its content online.
The Prosecutor General's Office said the decision was based on an audit that, among other things, determined that the news outlet “is carrying out activities aimed at creating and distributing materials that damage interests of the Russian Federation.”
“The main topics of its publications include false information about alleged massive violations of the rights and freedoms of citizens in Russia, accusations of our country unleashing a war of aggression in Ukraine, committing war crimes against civilians and repressions,” the Prosecutor General's office said in a statement late Wednesday.
The General Prosecutor’s Office also pointed to the “foreign agent” status of Novaya Gazeta Europe’s editor-in-chief Kirill Martynov and the fact that the news outlet regularly publishes materials produced by other entities designated as “extremist” and “undesirable” in Russia among the reasons behind its decision.
“All in all, the activities of the organization constitute a threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation and the security of the state,” said the government agency.
Novaya Gazeta Europe was founded by exiled journalists from Russia’s flagship independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta in April 2022, after the original outlet suspended its activities in Russia due to “government repressions and censorship laws.”
Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov, remains a vocal critic of the war.
Novaya Gazeta Europe vowed to continue its work despite the "undesirable" label.
"What the Russian authorities are doing in Ukraine is much more terrible than any 'status' they can offer those who tell the truth," the publication said in a statement.