Russia Bans The Moscow Times But the Newspaper’s Staff Won’t Back Down

Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

Russian authorities on Wednesday slapped an “undesirable” label on The Moscow Times, an independent English language newspaper, essentially banning the outlet from continuing operations in the country, where the media is tightly controlled by the state.

Russians could now face criminal prosecution for working with or having ties to the outlet, the Times reported.

But staff at the newspaper appeared undeterred, with Times founder Derk Sauer writing in a post on X: “Of course, we will continue with our work as usual: independent journalism. That’s a crime in Putin’s Russia.”

An editor’s note on the paper’s website underscored how the Times was founded in 1992 “with the mission of delivering independent, high-quality news about the country.”

The labeling is merely the latest in Russia’s “many efforts to suppress our reporting on the truth in Russia and its war in Ukraine,” the note says.

“This designation will make it even more difficult for us to do our jobs, putting reporters and fixers inside Russia at risk of criminal prosecution and making sources even more hesitant to speak to us,” the note continues. “We refuse to give in to this pressure. We refuse to be silenced.”

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