Russian newspaper run by Nobel Prize-winning editor defies Putin’s ban on reporting on war

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Investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta is challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin after asking its readers whether he should stop publishing or continue despite threats from state media watchdog Roskomnadzor. He had ordered the publication to stop calling the fighting in Ukraine a “war”.

“We keep calling war war,” Dmitry Muratov, editor of Novaya Gazeta, told the New Yorker. “We are waiting for the consequences.

Muratov, who co-founded Novaya Gazeta in 1993, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Filipino journalist Maria Ressa last year. He has been praised for his courage in defying many threats and for covering topics that make the Kremlin uncomfortable. Novaya Gazeta reported on Russian government corruption, human rights abuses and police violence, as well as published articles criticizing Putin.

Muratov has been a strong advocate of press freedom, saying the news media must remain independent of state power and influence.

The latest edition of the print version of Novaya Gazeta came out on February 28 and can be viewed online. The next editions of the publication will be in Russian and Ukrainian.

The next edition of the print journal is to be published on Wednesday because the print edition is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The cover of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. (novayagazeta.ru/Zenger)

Russian authorities had ordered Novaya Gazeta to use the term “military operation”, which is how Putin defined his army’s unprovoked attack when he announced it on television last week.

In the early hours of February 24, Putin, a former officer in the KGB, the Soviet Union’s main security agency from 1954 to late 1991, announced a “special military operation” in the region. He warned anyone who considered intervening that they “would face more serious consequences than you have faced in history”.

But the Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s few remaining independent newspapers with an estimated circulation of 90,000, defiantly called Putin’s war a “war”. The newspaper was founded by a group of journalists who had worked for the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Roskomnadzor’s threats prompted Novaya Gazetta to ask its readers whether the information operation should “continue to work under military censorship and implement the demands of the authorities” or “cease our editorial operations until the end of the war “.

Broadcaster funded by the Qatari government Al Jazeera reported that the communications regulator had told Russian media to stop labeling the conflict in Ukraine as “aggression, invasion or a declaration of war”, otherwise they risk being blocked or fined.

Former world chess champion turned Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov has called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “dictator” for his invasion of Ukraine. (Brian Ach/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, among many others, have called Putin a “dictator” for his invasion of neighboring Russia.

Al Jazeera reported that Russian journalists who do not toe the party line are labeled “foreign agents”.

the Barents Observer Online Journalwhich is part of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat aimed at developing Russian-Norwegian relations and is linked to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoted the Russian military as saying: “Unfortunately some Russian media and first of all Novaya Gazeta do not listen not us [and] actively spreading false information provided by drug-smoking nationalist gangs and the Ukrainian security service.

Edited by Richard Pretorius and Kristen Butler

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