Novaya Gazeta said it would stop publishing both online and in print, becoming the latest outlet to succumb to government crackdowns on the media that have devastated Russia’s free press and denied the country’s citizens accurate information about Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
This is the second warning the newspaper has received from Roskomnadzor. In early March, Novaya Gazeta announced that it had removed articles about the war from its website due to government censorship.
On Sunday, Roskomnadzor warned Russian news outlets against rebroadcasting or distributing Zelensky’s interviews with some of Russia’s most prominent independent journalists.
The journalists who interviewed Zelensky included Ivan Kolpakov of the Latvian website Meduza, Vladimir Solovyov of the Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant, Tikhon Dzyadko of the recently closed Dozhd TV channel, and renowned writer Mikhail Zygar. Muratov asked questions before the interview.
Muratov helped found Novaya Gazeta in 1993 and has been its editor-in-chief since 1995. Last year, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Filipino American journalist Maria Ressa for what judges called their “free speech efforts.”
The Nobel Committee said Novaya Gazeta had been highly critical of the Russian government from the start, including coverage of corruption and the actions of the country’s armed forces. Six of the paper’s journalists were killed, including Anna Politkovskaya, a vocal Kremlin critic who covered human rights violations in Chechnya.
Russian authorities have tightened control over the country’s media after the invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this month, lawmakers criminalized the dissemination of “fake” information that discredits the Russian military or calls for sanctions against the country.
The repression forced some media outlets to close and their journalists to leave the country. TV channel “Rain” and the legendary radio station “Echo of Moscow” stopped broadcasting.
Muratov announced last week that he would auction his Nobel medal in support of Ukrainian refugees. He said he was forced to do so after seeing “injured and sick children” in need of “urgent treatment” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the statement said.
In a statement, Muratov stressed the need for a ceasefire, the exchange of prisoners and the provision of humanitarian corridors. According to the latest data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 3.5 million refugees have left Ukraine.