RFE/RL: The Russian investigative news outlet The Project has announced the “liquidation” of its U.S.-registered company a day after being declared an “undesirable” organization by the Prosecutor-General’s Office in Moscow. The Project’s editors wrote on Telegram on July 16 that their company registered in the United States “is in the stage of liquidation and has no financial relations with journalists working in Russia.”
The Moscow Times: Russian investigative journalism outlet Proekt was added to the country’s registry of “undesirable” organizations Thursday, banning its activity in Russia and putting its staff at risk of legal penalties including jail time. The designation is the latest example of Russia’s crackdown on independent and investigative media in recent months, with multiple organizations and individuals being pronounced “undesirable” or added to the country’s list of “foreign agents.”
RFE/RL: Single-person protests have been held in Siberia’s largest city, Novosibirsk, to express support for journalists who have been added to the controversial registry of foreign agents. On July 15, Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office banned investigative news outlet The Project after declaring it an “undesirable” organization and added eight journalists, including The Project’s chief editor Roman Badanin and four of his colleagues, as well as an RFE/RL freelance correspondent in Moscow, Yelizaveta Mayetnaya, the chief editor of Open Media news outlet Yulia Yarosh and her deputy, Maksim Glikin, to the list of foreign agents.
The Moscow Times: Independent Russian investigative outlet Proekt has promised a new and potentially explosive investigation in the coming week in defiance of its new “undesirable” ban. Proekt is Russia’s first news outlet to be declared “undesirable,” a designation that forces labeled organizations to disband and places members and financial contributors at risk of significant jail time. Over the past year alone, Proekt has released bombshell investigations into President Vladimir Putin’s alleged extramarital daughter in addition to the alleged hidden wealth of tycoons with close ties to the president, Putin’s security chiefs and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Human Rights Watch: Russian authorities have just delivered another blow to independent media in the country. On July 15, the prosecutor general’s office blacklisted Project Media Inc. as an “undesirable foreign organization,” banning it in Russia and making it unlawful for anyone in Russia’s jurisdiction to be associated with it. Project Media Inc., based in the United States, is the publisher of the Russian investigative media outlet, Project, which is now effectively also banned in Russia. Russia’s law on “undesirable foreign organizations” authorizes the prosecutor’s office to designate as “undesirable” any foreign or international organization that is deemed to undermine Russia’s security, defense, or constitutional order. The law is deliberately broad and vague.
The Moscow Times: Russian investigative journalism outlet Proekt was added to the country’s registry of “undesirable” organizations Thursday, banning its activity in Russia and putting its staff at risk of legal penalties including jail time. The designation is the latest example of Russia’s crackdown on independent and investigative media in recent months, with multiple organizations and individuals being pronounced “undesirable” or added to the country’s list of “foreign agents.” While some of the targeted media outlets have vowed to continue operating under the burdensome new restrictions, others, such as the independent VTimes news site, have had no choice but to shut down.
RFE/RL: A court in Russia-occupied Crimea has filed charges against an RFE/RL freelance correspondent in a process that has been decried by Kyiv, the United States, and press advocacy groups as a sham to crush dissent and information. A Simferopol court charged Vladyslav Yesypenko, who has been in detention since March, with possession and transport of explosives. Yesypenko, who pleaded not guilty, could face up to 18 years in prison.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Yesypenko, a dual Russian-Ukrainian citizen who contributes to Crimea.Realities, a regional news outlet of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, on suspicion of collecting information for Ukrainian intelligence.
RFE/RL: Jailed former U.S. marine Trevor Reed has been transferred to a penal colony in Mordovia, a region about 350 kilometers east of Moscow historically known as the location of Russia’s toughest prisons, including Soviet-era labor camps for political prisoners. Aleksei Melnikov, the executive secretary of the Public Monitoring Commission human rights group, said on July 16 that “Trevor had been transferred from detention center No. 5 in Moscow to one of the penal colonies in Mordovia.”