Russia blacklists independent newspaper The Moscow Times

Dutch journalist Dirk Sauer is the publisher of The Moscow Times.

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Russia has designated The Moscow Times as an “undesirable organization” and blacklisted it. As a result, Russian citizens are banned from working for the digital newspaper published by Dutch journalist Dirk Sauer.

According to the authorities, the newspaper “aims to distort the decisions of the leadership of the Russian Federation, both in terms of foreign and domestic policies.” The independent news outlet had previously been designated as a “foreign agent.”

Now that the newspaper has been blacklisted, journalists working for The Moscow Times risk prison. It has also become a criminal offense for readers to share articles from the newspaper online.

The Moscow Times was founded in 1992 by Dirk Sauer as an English-language newspaper. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, much of the editorial staff fled the country for fear of persecution under far-reaching censorship laws. Since then, the editorial team has been working remotely in Amsterdam.

on X Sawyer writes that the paper continues to conduct independent journalism from abroad. “That is a crime in Putin’s Russia.”

Accused of espionage

The former employees include several prominent journalists, including Ivan Gershkovich. The Wall Street Journal journalist has been in detention for more than a year on espionage charges. No evidence has been presented.

Independent media, human rights organizations, and educational institutions in Russia have increasingly been labeled “undesirable organizations” since the full-scale invasion. As a result, Russian institutions and organizations have been effectively banned and critical voices silenced.

At the end of last month, Russia announced that it would block access to more than 80 different European media outlets, including the national watchdog.

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