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.

Socialite Says NTV Censored Her Show

NTV has taken off the air an episode of a talk show in which socialite Ksenia Sobchak accuses a senior government official of corruption, drawing allegations that the television channel has censored two programs critical of the authorities in less than a week.

Sobchak said on Twitter late Tuesday that a video of her confronting the government's youth policy chief in a posh restaurant was to have been featured on a segment of "NTVshniki" in which guests discussed "the hatred of the rich," but the talk show was replaced by another program Sunday.

Sobchak cited Anton Krasovsky, the show's producer, for the information. Krasovsky redirected inquiries to NTV spokeswoman Maria Bezborodova, who refused to comment late Tuesday, Gazeta.ru said.

One of the show's guests, liberal Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh, confirmed participating in the filming of the "NTVshniki" episode with Sobchak but did not elaborate.

Sobchak's confrontation with Federal Agency for Youth Affairs chief Vasily Yakemenko, which she filmed on her cell phone, made ripples in the blogosphere last week.

The minute-long video, shot in the downtown restaurant Mario, where the cost of a meal for one starts at 4,000 rubles ($130), shows Sobchak asking how Yakemenko could afford to dine in such an establishment. The official dodged the question, as well as a request for an interview.

The video ends with Sobchak recommending that he order Belon oysters (500 rubles per oyster) — advice that quickly became an Internet meme.

Yakemenko has not commented on the issue. His spokeswoman Kristina Potupchik has reacted to Sobchak's confrontation with her boss by calling the socialite "a cheap prostitute." No legal action has followed.

NTV, which tries to balance loyalty to the Kremlin with sharp coverage, canceled a report about illegal abductions by law enforcement agencies in Chechnya on Saturday, but only after it was broadcast in time zones east of the Urals. NTV representatives said later that the report needed "editing," but did not elaborate.

Alexander Cherkasov, a member of the rights group Memorial, said the show was censored on Kremlin orders because it indirectly took aim at Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Radio Liberty reported.

… 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