Russia outlaws The Moscow Times news outlet

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

Russia on Wednesday named The Moscow Times news outlet an “undesirable organization,” outlawing its activities inside Russia and leaving anybody who cooperates with them open to criminal prosecution.

Moscow has escalated a campaign against independent media and reporting since it launched its full-scale military offensive on Ukraine in February 2022.

“A decision has been taken to declare the activities of The Moscow Times, a foreign non-government organization, undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the office of Russia’s Prosecutor General said in a statement.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

It said the outlet was “aimed at discrediting the decisions of the leadership of the Russian Federation in both foreign and domestic policy.”

The Moscow Times, which publishes in English and Russian and has reported on the country since the early 1990s, relocated to Amsterdam after Russia launched its full-scale military offensive on Ukraine.

The “undesirable” status forces organizations to shut down in Russia and means Russians that work for, fund or collaborate with them can also be liable to prosecution – including up to five years in jail for some activities.

“Of course, we will continue with our work as usual: independent journalism. That’s a crime in Putin’s Russia,” Moscow Times’ founder Derk Sauer said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Russians have even been fined for reposting web links and articles published by “undesirable organization,” the independent Mediazona site reported.

The online outlet, which for years published an English-language paper in Moscow, is popular among Russia-watchers abroad.

It also served as a training ground for several journalists who went on to be high-profile foreign correspondents.

US reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested last year on espionage charges rejected by him and his employer, worked in Moscow for the outlet at the start of his career.

Russia has used the “undesirable organization” label to target media outlets and NGOs that it says fund opposition and oppose the Kremlin.

Critics have slammed the law as a repressive tool used to quash dissent.

Read more:

NATO allies begin transfer of F-16 jets to Ukraine

Russia prefers Donald Trump win election, US intelligence official indicates

UK’s Starmer says Ukraine can use British missiles to strike inside Russia

Top Content Trending