Investigative website “The Insider”: Russian authorities banned news portal

Investigative website "The Insider": Russian authorities banned news portal

Status: 07/24/2021 3:09 AM

Among other things, reporters reported poison attacks on Kremlin critic Navalny and former double agent Skripal – Russian authorities have now banned investigative Internet portal “The Insider”.

In another blow against independent media, Russian authorities banned investigative website “The Insider”. The Ministry of Justice in Moscow announced that the medium has been classified as an “undesirable organisation”.

The Riga-based editorial team said they would continue to work. “We will continue to inform our readers about socially important information in accordance with Latvian law and common sense, completely and without censorship.”

The website “The Insider”, established in 2013, works in conjunction with the international research platform “Bellingcat”. They reported together on poison attacks on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and former double agent Sergej Skripal.

Controversial law against unwanted organizations

Last week the Russian authorities had already banned the investigative website “Proact”. The editor-in-chief and several staff were declared “foreign agents”. Since 2018, the editorial team has published a series of sensational research, some of which also dealt with the wealth of members of the Russian elite.

A controversial law allows Russian authorities to classify foreign organizations as “undesirable” and restrict their activities in Russia. Russians working for “undesirable” organizations face fines or imprisonment.

Many media have already been banned

Since Navalny’s return to Russia in January, officials have increased pressure on independent media. Navalny survived a neurotoxin attack from the Novichok group in Russia last August, for which he blames the Kremlin. Following his treatment in Germany, he was arrested on his return to Russia and later sentenced to more than two and a half years in a camp for alleged violations of probation conditions.

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In the past few months, Russian authorities had already classified the news portals “Medusa” and “WTimes” as “foreign agents”. “Wtimes” then stopped operating. Organizations and individuals classified as “foreign agents” are required, among other things, to disclose their funding.

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