Galina Timchenko, chief editor of Lenta.ru, and Anastasia Karimova, reporter with Kommersant, resigned from their positions due to censorship in Russia.
Russia’s media regulating body sent a warning to Lenta.ru over an interview with Ukraine’s Right Sector Party Leader Andrei Tarasenko because Russia views this group as extremists and terrorists.
The interview, published Monday, also provided a link to material that quoted Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh as saying that “sooner or later we are doomed to fight with the Moscow empire.” Yarosh is currently wanted by the Russian government for publicly encouraging acts of terrorism.
The media regulator ruled that both publications contained material intended to incite national hatred, RAPSI (Russian Legal Information Agency) legal news agency reported.
If a media outlet receives two written warnings within a 12-month period, authorities are legally entitled to revoke that organization’s license, the regulator said.
There are some who believe Timchenko was forced to resign. Writers and editors of Lenta.ru took to the site and explained the situation. They said she was indeed fired because of the immense pressure from the Kremlin offices and free press is getting worse every year.
Over the past couple of years the space of free journalism in Russia has decreased dramatically. Some publications are controlled directly from the Kremlin, others – through curators, and others – editors, who fear losing their jobs. Some media outlets were closed, others will close in the coming months. The problem is not that we have nowhere to run. The trouble is that you seem to have nothing more to read.
We certainly expected that they would come and for us.
Karimova posted a picture of her resignation letter on Instagram and Facebook. She said there is no acceptable work for journalists in Russia.
Journalists from around the world mourned the loss of Timchenko and Karimove, who offered a fair view of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
Really sad day for journalism in Russia. Two of its best reporters, @A3AP of Lenta.ru and @aakarimova of Kommersant, quit over censorship
— Simon Shuster (@shustry) March 12, 2014
I’m particularly sorry for @A3AP – one of the best russian journalists, who has been doing great, balanced, independent stuff from Ukraine.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) March 12, 2014
Russia is in control of Ukraine’s Crimea where they set up checkpoints and took control of the media. Three Norway journalists were detained and harassed at a checkpoint on the border. Radio Free Europe reported there are at least five journalists and activists missing. Interfax-Ukraine also reported Ukrainian television stations did not work, but Russian television stations worked just fine. Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned because of censorship and the network’s backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine.
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