Radio station that hosted American & Russian presidents closes in Moscow
One of Moscow’s most popular liberal media outlets will be shut, its board of directors has decided, after authorities restricted the broadcaster due to its coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Echo of Moscow’s Editor-in-Chief Alexey Venediktov announced in a statement on Thursday that the agency’s radio platform and website will cease to exist, following a “majority vote.”
It comes after Russia’s General Prosecutor’s office ordered media regulator Roskomnadzor to block access to the outlet’s radio station. Echo of Moscow is indirectly state-owned due to its connections with the Gazprom media conglomerate.
The outlet stands accused of calling for “extremism” and of spreading “false information about the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine.”
Venediktov first hit out at the decision, insisting that the allegations “are not supported by any examples or evidence.” He also vowed to challenge the order in court, arguing that the outlet sees a “political component [in this], as well as the introduction of censorship, which is directly prohibited by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.”
In the wake of Moscow’s military invasion of Ukraine, Roskomnadzor also called for restrictions on TV-channel Rain for its reporting of the operation. The outlet had been labeled as a foreign agent in Russia due to its links to overseas funding.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the attack on Ukraine last Thursday after the leaders of the recently recognized breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics appealed for assistance in relation to what they claim was increasing “aggression” from Kiev’s armed forces. The offensive is designed to cripple the Eastern European nation’s military and remove what the Kremlin describes as “nazi” elements.