Russia silences another publication: Novaya Gazeta's magazine

Novaya Gazeta suspended publication in Russia in March after being cautioned for violating new laws censoring coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.

 Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta's plate is seen next to an entrance to the office in Moscow October 8, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)
Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta's plate is seen next to an entrance to the office in Moscow October 8, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)

A day after banning one of Russia's last independent newspapers, Novaya Gazeta, a Moscow court on Tuesday revoked the license of its sister magazine, founded only two months ago.

Novaya Gazeta suspended publication in Russia in March after being cautioned for violating new laws censoring coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, and had its license revoked after the media watchdog, Rozkomnadzor, accused it of failing to properly document a change of ownership in 2006.

On Tuesday, the same Basmanny District Court revoked the license of "No" ("But"), because of its failure to appear from 2009, when it was registered, until 2022.

"Why did Roskomnadzor go to court only after the magazine was printed?" said Novaya Gazeta lawyer Yaroslav Kozheurov.

"It is absolutely clear that the appeal to the court is not due to the fact that the magazine was not published, but due to the fact that the magazine started appearing."

 Novaya gazeta logo (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Novaya gazeta logo (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

"It is absolutely clear that the appeal to the court is not due to the fact that the magazine was not published, but due to the fact that the magazine started appearing."

Yaroslav Kozheurov

Novaya Gazeta's history in Russia

Novaya Gazeta, a stalwart of Russia's media scene since its foundation in 1993 with money from the Nobel Peace Prize of late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, had carved out a niche as Russia's leading investigative outlet, even as press freedoms were rolled back.

President Vladimir Putin's two-decade crackdown has ensured that all Russian mass media now closely follow the Kremlin's line, and critical views are, to all intents and purposes, accessible only to those who can evade government barriers to access online content published abroad.

Three paper issues of "No" have been published since July, but Roskomnadzor blocked the magazine's website less than a week after it was created.

A Novaya Gazeta online paper published abroad has also been blocked in Russia.

Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitriy Muratov, himself a Nobel Peace laureate for his work for press freedom, remains in Russia and on Saturday led the funeral procession of Gorbachev, his financial backer and friend.