RUSSIALINK: “Meduza Chief Editor Resigns Following Sexual Harassment Claims” – Moscow Times

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nov. 9, 2018)

The Russian-language Meduza news website has announced the resignation of its chief editor Ivan Kolpakov following reports that he had harassed a co-worker’s wife at a staff party.

Kolpakov, who served as Meduza’s chief editor since 2016, reportedly groped the buttocks of a colleague’s wife at a party last month before telling her: “You are the only one I can harass and get away with it.” The board of directors reinstated him on Tuesday after he served a two-week suspension, sparking accusations of hypocrisy in a #metoo era that has largely been ignored or ridiculed in Russia. Meduza was founded by a group of Russian journalists in Latvia in 2014 and has taken an active stance in covering Russia’s fledgling #metoo movement.

On Friday, Meduza reported that Kolpakov had told the editorial board that he was quitting.

“This is the only way to stop the crisis around the editorial board and minimize reputational damage,” he was quoted as saying Friday.

“This was a very hard week,” Meduza CEO Galina Timchenko said hours before the announcement.

In a Facebook post explaining the decision, Kolpakov said he was leaving despite “categorically” rejecting the groping allegations.

“But I found myself in a situation where it’s impossible and pointless to defend myself,” he added.

Former managing editor Tatyana Yershova has been named acting chief editor, Meduza wrote.