Category Archives: Media, Internet, Social Media, Television

‘Propaganda Bullhorn’ Or ‘Alternative Perspective’? U.S. Students Put Kremlin-Funded RT Under Microscope

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – February 25, 2015) Few global media outlets elicit such polarized opinions of its coverage as Russia’s state-funded television network RT, which the United States’ top diplomat has called a “propaganda bullhorn” for the Kremlin during the Ukraine crisis. Now, a group of graduate students at a leading U.S. journalism school are in the midst […]

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CNN Applies for Russian Broadcast License Month After Quitting Country

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2015) U.S. cable news channel CNN has applied for a broadcast license from Russia’s state media watchdog, just one month after leaving the country following the introduction of a restrictive media advertising law. State media regulator Roskomnadzor received the application Tuesday and now has 30 days to consider it, news agency Interfax reported […]

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Interfax: Privately-owned Russian TV channel announces return of live broadcasts

Map of Russia

(Interfax – Moscow, February 9, 2015) The Dozhd television channel is resuming live broadcasts, which were temporarily suspended while the channel was in the process of moving to a new television studio. “From today, the Dozhd television channel is based at a new studio at the Flakon design centre. We have almost finished setting up the new studio, and in […]

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Ukrainian journalist faces 15 years in jail after calls to boycott the draft

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – ZOYA KRAVCHUK – February 9, 2015) Zoya Kravchuk is a freelance journalist interested in international security, politics, human rights, and the media. She is currently based in Vienna. A Ukrainian journalist has been arrested for publishing a video calling on his fellow citizens to boycott mobilisation. He is being charged with treason and espionage. A court in the […]

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FEEDBACK REQUESTED: Thanks for following Johnson’s Russia List! We would love to hear from you …

St. Basil's file photo

Thank you very much for following Johnson’s Russia List, with 8,091 followers on twitter and counting … 3,211 persons “liking” the JRL on facebook and counting … thousands subscribing to the core e-mail newsletter … and thousands visiting the JRL web home … Do you have any feedback you care to share about the JRL and any of its facets […]

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Russia about to Lose Its ‘Thick’ Journals and Culture Ministry Won’t Help

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 22, 2015) Russia’s “thick” journals, the pride of its intellectual life for more than a century are dying, the result of changes in the media marketplace, but despite 2015 having been declared “The Year of Literature” in Russia, the Russian government is unwilling to do anything to save them. Indeed, it […]

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Business New Europe: Russia’s tech sector defies downturn

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 16, 2015) Most of Russia’s economy will be in the proverbial dustbin in 2015, except for the technology sector. The gadget-loving Russians have been driving the explosion of e-commerce in recent years, which is now starting to spill over into technological innovation and software development. Instead of the […]

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Culture Minister Wants ‘Patriotic Internet’ to Protect Russians

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 15, 2015) Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has called for the creation of a “patriotic Internet” to combat Western ideas, adding that those who are against Russia are against the truth. Russia needs to “consolidate the state and society on the basis of values instilled by our history,” said a statement released […]

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U.S. Drama ‘House of Cards’ Features Putin Look-Alike in New Trailer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2015) [Trailer here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/u-s-drama-house-of-cards-features-putin-look-alike-in-new-trailer/514243.html] A trailer for season three of U.S. hit series House of Cards has fans in a frenzy over what appear to be heavy hints that the new season’s plot line will feature a character based on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new series will see actor Kevin Spacey reprise […]

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RIA Novosti: Euronews TV channel says Kiev wants “blunt propaganda”, not “balanced approach”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, January 12, 2015) The Ukrainian authorities for a long time have been doing everything possible to restrict access to any information that runs counter to their position but Kiev can’t close down the Ukrainian language version of the international television channel Euronews because decision lies with the television channel itself, Petr Fedorov, vice-chairman of the Euronews Supervisory […]

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Russians Still Prefer Print Editions Over Online Publications

Collage of Russian Newspapers

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2015) More than a third of Russians are most likely to read their favorite articles online and 17 percent are willing to give up print media altogether, according to a study published Monday by state-run pollster VTsIOM. The poll was conducted last month among 1,600 people across Russia with a margin of error […]

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Russia’s Oscar Hopeful Is Dark, Critical — And Patriotic

Map of Russia

(RFE/RL – Robert Coalson – January 5, 2015) In the film Leviathan, a drunken mechanic in a far northern Russian town clashes with a greedy, drunken mayor who is determined to expropriate the man’s land for his own mansion. The mayor contemptuously refers to his subjects as “insects” and, in a fit of vodka-fuelled honesty, pulls back the curtain on […]

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Oliver Stone Interviews Yanukovych for Documentary on U.S. ‘Coup’ in Ukraine

Oliver Stone

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 31, 2014) Hollywood film producer Oliver Stone has said he wants to make a four-hour documentary telling the “dirty story” of the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in what he believes was a “coup” organized with the help of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency. “A dirty story through and through, but […]

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Russia’s Media Machine Looks West

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Glenn Kates – December 29, 2014) It’s May 2 in Odesa and a doctor is trying desperately to rescue pro-Russian protesters — more than 40 of whom will die — trapped in the Ukrainian city’s labor-union building. “As a doctor I rushed to give help to the one who could be rescued, but I was stopped […]

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Russian Media Downplay Extent of Ruble Crisis

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos, Ivan Nechepurenko – December 17, 2014) While the ruble pinballed erratically between 58 and 80 per U.S. dollar on Tuesday, making headlines around the world, Russia’s state-run media have attempted to take a soft and conciliatory stance on the home currency’s woes. A news bullet by state-owned Channel One aired at 6 p.m. […]

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Moscow Times: Ukraine Ranked 3rd Deadliest Country for Journalists

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 17, 2014) War-torn Ukraine was one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists this year, international press rights group Reporters Without Borders said in a report released Tuesday. Ukraine ranked third among the world’s deadliest locales for media professionals, with six such casualties this year, trailing behind Syria with 15 casualties […]

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The Kremlin’s Top 75 Lies About The Ukraine Crisis [with video]

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – December 12, 2014) The folks at StopFake.org are committed to uncovering untrue or misleading information being disseminated by Russian media about the crisis in Ukraine. And now StopFake has published a video (below) that runs down the Top 75 lies and untruths of 2014. “Obviously, when you see these, you’ll see there’s a purpose behind all of […]

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Reporting on Russian Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(openedemocracy.net – December 8, 2014 – Elisabeth Schimpfossl) Dr Elisabeth Schimpfossl is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London. Her research focuses on elites, transformation and media in post-Soviet Russia. The idea of censorship on Russian television misses the point. When it comes to reporting, loyalty takes precedence. Since the […]

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Russia’s Dozhd TV Defies Crackdown by Continuing Broadcasts From Apartment

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – December 9, 2014) Russia’s main independent television channel, Dozhd, has been forced to leave its Moscow studio for the second time in as many months, but is continuing its broadcasts from an apartment in the capital, news reports said. The digital channel has been struggling for survival ever since it was dropped […]

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Russia to Make Internet Providers Censor Content – Report

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – December 3, 2014) The Kremlin is pushing to have Russian Internet providers filter content before delivering it to users, a potentially very costly censoring procedure, a prominent news website said. The new rules may be passed by the State Duma before the year’s end, Gazeta.ru said Monday, citing an unnamed source “familiar […]

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Reply to Edward Lucas; From: John Helmer

Subject: Reply to Edward Lucas Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 From: John Helmer <mail.helmer@gmail.com> Reply to Edward Lucas (JRL#246, November 30, 2014, regarding Item #27) Readers of JRL who check Edward Lucas’ claims about what I reported about him in JRL#231 of November 6 won”t be able to find the evidence. Looming large in Fast Eddie’s brain as conflict of […]

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Edward Lucas: Response to John Helmer JRL#231

Subject: Response to John Helmer JRL#231 Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 From: Edward Lucas <edwardlucas@economist.com> In a piece republished on JRL#231 (6 November 2014), the Moscow-based writer John Helmer says that I accepted a state award from the government of Poland, with the further unfair and untrue suggestion that this has slanted my coverage of Poland, and that I have […]

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The True Russia in Book ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – November 25, 2014) Television “is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” British producer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev says in his superb debut book “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which follows the author’s decade-long career in factual television set against the backdrop of Moscow’s mega-rich […]

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Spy Malware Deployed Against Russia by Unknown Nation, Report Says

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 25, 2014) Russian and Saudi Arabian telecommunications and Internet firms are being targeted by highly advanced cyber espionage malware that is likely being controlled by a Western intelligence agency, The Financial Times reported Monday. Leading computer security company Symantec issued a statement Sunday warning about a new piece of malware known […]

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Russian independent radio board chairman says not aiming to destroy station

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – November 18, 2014) Mikhail Lesin, chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom-Media, which owns the Russian editorially independent radio station Ekho Moskvy, met the station’s members of staff on 18 November, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on the same day. They met to discuss the ongoing dispute between Lesin and Aleksey Venediktov, the station’s editor in […]

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Gazprom Media to consider proposal on selling stake in Echo of Moscow to minority shareholders – editor

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

(Interfax – November 19, 2014) Gazprom Media Board Chairman Mikhail Lesin is ready to consider a proposal from the Echo of Moscow radio minority shareholders on selling them a controlling stake belonging to Gazprom Media, Echo of Moscow Editor-in-Chief Alexei Venediktov said. “Mikhail Lesin said at a meeting with the editorial board [on Tuesday] that, if the minority shareholders make […]

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Magazine Pays Homage to Embattled Russian Activists With Global Thinkers List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber- November 19, 2014) Two Russian rights advocates have been included on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the top 100 leading global thinkers for their roles in raising contentious issues surrounding this year’s Sochi Olympic Games. LGBT rights defender Yelena Klimova and environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko were included in the “advocates” section of the […]

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Russia launches its own ‘Wikipedia’

File Photo of Little Russian Girl at Laptop Next to Globe

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 17, 2014) It’s already got its own search engine called Sputnik, but now in an effort to better control the contents on RuNet, the Kremlin plans to launch its own version of Wikipedia. The Russian version of the user-generated encyclopaedia is designed to give “citizens more detailed and reliable” information about their country, […]

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Embattled Ekho Moskvy’s Long Record Of Riling Officials

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – November 18, 2014) The doggedly independent Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy is facing an existential crisis this week, with its editorial leadership and its operations due to be scrutinized in a snap shareholders meeting on November 21 called by state-owned Gazprom-Media, which holds a controlling stake in the station. The meeting comes amid […]

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Russia Tightens Control Over Foreign Ownership of Print Media

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – November 17, 2014) Foreign companies will soon have to seek government permission before buying a more than 25 percent stake in newspapers or magazines in Russia, extending state control in an industry still reeling from legal changes earlier this year, business daily Vedomosti reported late last week. The new amendments, which will […]

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Pressure mounts on independent Russian media as legal net tightens

Collage of Russian Newspapers

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sam Skove, special to RBTH – November 14, 2014) In recent months, newspapers, radio stations and websites have lost staff while new laws put restrictions on media ownership and advertising. Meanwhile, billions of rubles are being plowed into Kremlin-backed media outlets such as RT and new kid on the block Sputnik. On Nov. […]

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Launch of Sputnik Comes Amid High Stakes in Media War

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 12, 2014) The Kremlin strengthened its position in the drawn-out media war with the West this week with the launch of Sputnik, an international multi-platform news agency meant to provide a pro-Russian alternative to Western media coverage, as Russia’s independent media outlets struggle to stay afloat. Sputnik’s launch comes at a […]

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Moscow Times: Most Russians Say State-Run Media ‘Objective’ in Ukraine Coverage

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 13, 2014) Most Russians believe that the country’s state-run news agencies have provided objective coverage of the events unfolding during the Ukraine conflict, a poll by the Levada Center revealed Wednesday. Fifty-nine percent of respondents to the poll, conducted between Oct. 24 and 27, said they disagreed with the notion often […]

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Kommersant Editor Steps Down Amid Rumors of Pressure From Above

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 11, 2014) The editor-in-chief of business daily Kommersant has resigned, triggering speculation Monday that he was forced out over a recent article in the newspaper about oil giant Rosneft. While theories behind the move multiplied and media reports fluctuated between calling it a dismissal and a resignation, the editor himself, Mikhail […]

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Interfax: Head of Kremlin rights council deplores CNN’s decision to quit Russia

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 11 (Interfax) – The decision of the news television station CNN International to end broadcasts in Russia will “deplete” the information picture, head of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax. “This is certainly bad news. The fact that CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia will deplete our information picture very seriously. We would like […]

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CNN is allowed to broadcast on cable and satellite channels in Russia – ministry

Satellite Dishes

(Interfax – November 11, 2014) Russian laws are not stop the CNN television network from broadcasting on cable and satellite channels in Russia, the country’s Communications and Mass Media Ministry said in a press release. “Following the CNN television channel’s announcement that it will soon end broadcasts in Russia, the Communications and Mass Media Ministry of the Russian Federation explains […]

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Cable TV Channel CNN Says It Will End Russian Broadcasts in 2015

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 11, 2014) Cable news channel CNN will end its broadcasts in Russia starting on Jan.1, after the country passed a law restricting foreign ownership of media outlets. Time Warner, which owns CNN, said it had notified its Russian cable distributors VimpelCom and Akado that it would stop broadcasting in the country by Dec. 31, […]

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RIA Novosti: Ofcom Attempting to Meddle With RT Editorial Policy: Editor-in-Chief

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

UK’s media regulator Ofcom is trying to influence the channel’s editorial policy by wrongly accusing RT of biased coverage of the Ukrainian military conflict, RT Editor-in Chief Margarita Simonyan believes. MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) – In accusing RT TV-channel of biased coverage of the Ukrainian conflict, British media regulator Ofcom is trying to influence the channel’s editorial policy, RT […]

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Re: Kargopol

Map of Russia

Subject: Kargopol Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 04:03:29 -0600 From: William Brumfield <william.brumfield@gmail.com> My current article for Russia beyond the Headlines is devoted to the Cathedral Square ensemble of Kargopol, one of the most beautiful of northern Russia’s ancient towns rbth.com/travel/2014/11/07/the_shrines_of_kargopol_preserving_the_art_of_the_russian_north_41243.html For best results with the slide show (full screen), click the 4-arrow icon at lower right of photo window. […]

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Re: from a Russian journalist Igor Rotar

Ukraine Map and Flag

From: Igor Rotar <igorotar@gmail.com> Date: Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM Subject: from a Russian journalist Igor Rotar My name is Igor Rotar.I am a veteran journalist and researcher who recently received a green card in the USA and currently lives in San Diego. I am the author of three books about the ethnic conflicts in the Soviet Union, […]

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Firing of Ekho Moskvy Reporter Prompts Speculation Over Fate of Editor-in-Chief

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 7, 2014) A state-controlled media holding has fired an Ekho Moskvy radio journalist, citing ethical norms, and threatened to dismiss the radio station’s long-standing chief editor who has led it as one of the final strongholds of media freedom in the country. The dismissal of Alexander Plyuschev followed a Twitter post […]

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EVENT: The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money – Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Subject: EVENT / “The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money” Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 From: Institute of Modern Russia <info@imrussia.org> Upcoming Event IMR Report on Kremlin Information War To Be Launched in Washington, D.C. On November 13, editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, Michael Weiss, and journalist Peter Pomerantsev will present their report titled “The Menace […]

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Russian Tabloid Deletes Article Claiming Navalny Received Kremlin Funds

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2014) Russian tabloid LifeNews removed a report from its website Thursday that claimed prominent opposition activist Alexey Navalny had secretly been receiving state funds after the Kremlin vehemently denied the allegations, the TASS news agency reported. “Reports about the Kremlin financing [Navalny] are absolute nonsense and a stunt to increase ratings, with all […]

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Interfax: State pollster denies Russian TV brainwashes viewers about Putin

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Russian TV is not a zombie box as it speaks of President Vladimir Putin not only in glowing terms but also carries criticisms of him, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), Valeriy Fedorov, has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 29 October, as reported by privately-owned […]

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Vast Majority of Russians Think Foreign Media Criticize Putin to Weaken Russia

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) The overwhelming majority of Russians view negative foreign media coverage of President Vladimir Putin and of Russia in general as an attempt to destabilize the country, pollster VTsIOM revealed Wednesday. The poll revealed that 87 percent of respondents see such ulterior motives in critical remarks released by foreign media […]

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Navalny Wins Court Case Against Federal Media Watchdog

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2014) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny announced his victory Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Russian federal media watchdog’s refusal to register his news outlet as an official media outlet. Navalny filed an application with the agency on June 2 to set up the “Alexei Navalny Information Agency,” a news outlet that would focus […]

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Russian Media Behemoth Set To Launch Wave Of Foreign Bureaus

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – October 29, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, is reportedly preparing to open local bureaus in 29 world capitals, a move expanding the Kremlin’s global media presence amid what senior Russian officials call an “information war” with the West. The new bureaus are set to facilitate local-language radio programming and […]

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Re: 2014-#220-Johnson’s Russia List (Adomanis on Applebaum)

Map of Russia

Subject: Re: 2014-#220-Johnson’s Russia List (Adomanis on Applebaum) Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 From: Martin Dewhirst <martin.dewhirst@googlemail.com> Anne Applebaum (whom I read but do not know personally) does not need a low-profile person like myself to spring to her defense, but I would guess that she is too busy, and would consider it beneath her dignity, to respond to ill-informed comments on her […]

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Russian Intellectuals Ask State-Run TV to Admit Falsehoods in Ukraine Reports

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 24, 2014) A congress of Russian intellectuals has appealed to the head of state-run Channel One television to acknowledge “falsifications” in its reporting on Ukraine, holding the network accountable for the deaths of young Russians who were moved to go and fight there. The congress told Channel One chief Konstantin Ernst […]

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Russia’s Liberal Ekho Moskvy Braces for Inspection After Running Interview With Putin-Critic Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 22, 2014) The Emergency Situations Ministry has announced an unscheduled inspection of the offices of Ekho Mosvky two days after a journalist at the opposition-friendly radio station said it had been threatened with “problems” for running an interview with opposition leader Alexei Navalny. News website Slon.ru cited the station’s deputy editor, Tatyana Felgenhauer, as […]

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