Two media organizations owned by disgraced 1990’s oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky are to stop operations completely after Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor ordered their web sites to be banned and blocked all through the nation.
The choice to close down was introduced on Thursday, someday after Roskomnadzor’s ruling.
The affected shops are Open Media and MBKh Media, each funded by Khodorkovsky, a former businessman who spent a decade in jail on fraud expenses. He is now based mostly in London.
A 3rd Khodorkovsky group – a ‘human rights’ group known as Pravozashchita Otkrytki – has additionally introduced its intention to shut down after its web site was equally restricted.
The choice to dam the shops got here as Roskomnadzor accused them of being “information resources” of the Open Russia Civic Movement and Open Russia, two organizations acknowledged as “undesirable” in Russia.
According to each MBKh and Open Media, the shops determined to close down as a solution to defend the individuals working on the publications, with the editors believing that employees might be focused by legislation enforcement. Both publications have utterly denied having ever labored with so-called “undesirable organizations.”
Writing on Facebook, MBKh Media Editor-in-Chief Veronika Kutsyllo revealed that she is “not ready to jeopardize the freedom and lives of other people.”
Similarly, the editorial board of Open Media issued a press release explaining that neither Roskomnadzor nor the General Prosecutor’s Office has defined the rationale for blocking the positioning, however the workers had determined to close down “because the risks for the employees are too great.”
“Unfortunately, the government does not need media projects with a critical view of what is happening in the country. The more criticism, the shorter the life of the project. But at least we tried,” Open Media’s assertion concluded.
Earlier this 12 months, one other group owned by Khodorkovsky shut down for the same purpose, fearing a future crackdown. In May, the disgraced former tycoon shut down Open Russia, with its head Andrey Pivovarov revealing that he had expelled each member to cease doable fines or prison instances.
Once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, Khodorkovsky was arrested on controversial fraud expenses in 2003. He served a decade in jail earlier than receiving a presidential pardon from Vladimir Putin in 2013. His case was primarily linked to the collapse of Yukos, an power firm he purchased for a fraction of its worth as a part of an allegedly rigged public sale, which was as soon as described because the “swindle of the century.”
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