MOSCOW - The editor of a prominent Russian news magazine said he had been fired after the weekly printed a photograph featuring an obscene message addressed to Vladimir Putin as part of extensive reports on alleged fraud in a Dec. 4 parliamentary election.
Maxim Kovalsky said on Tuesday he had been dismissed as editor of Kommersant-Vlast over the magazine's Monday edition, which included several articles examining alleged electoral violations favoring Prime Minister Putin's United Russia party.
The dismissal appeared to serve notice that Putin still holds vast influence over Russian media, despite mass protests against his rule and a decline in his ruling party's support at the election.
"The reason is the issue about the election," Kovalsky told Reuters. He said he believed the Kremlin had put pressure on Kommersant Publishing House owner Alisher Usmanov, a billionaire metals tycoon, and that he had no regrets about the publication.