Roskomnadzor has blocked on the territory of Russia the Internet editions “Open Media” and “MBH Media”, funded by the ex-head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Also, the site of the “Human Rights Protection of the Postcard” got under the block – this project of the businessman, following the “Open Media”, announced the termination of work. In June, the Prosecutor General's Office recognized European funds associated with an entrepreneur as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation.
The websites were blocked on the evening of August 4 at the request of the General Prosecutor's Office. Roskomnadzor reports that access was restricted under Article 15.3 of the Information Law. It talks about blocking resources for calls for riots, illegal mass actions or extremism.
According to the prosecutor's office, the publications “Open Media” and “MBH Media” are associated with the British organizations Open Russia Civic Movement and Open Russia. Previously, they were recognized as undesirable in the Russian Federation.
Open Media reported that on August 4, the editorial office received four letters from Roskomnadzor demanding the removal of illegal information, but the agency did not specify which one. The publication announced in its Telagram channel that it would stop working on August 5, 2021, because “the risks for the project staff are too great.”
The media stated that they have never worked with undesirable structures. The project received money through a five-year grant issued by Khodorkovsky's company in 2017. “We have never hidden it. None of the journalists of the project had contracts or unregistered relations with other companies of Khodorkovsky, ”the statement says.
Lawyer Anastasia Burakova announced the closure of “Human Rights Protection of the Postcard”. The project's Telagram channel was cleared and renamed Empty. The channel had 9,763 subscribers.
In July 2021, the Ministry of Justice added the editor-in-chief of Open Media, Yulia Yarosh, as well as the publication's journalists Maxim Glikin and Ilya Rozhdestvensky, to the register of media performing the functions of a foreign agent.
In June, VTimes (recognized as a foreign agent in Russia) announced its closure. The media was launched by former Vedomosti journalists after the change of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. They stated that the project was unable to continue due to the label of a foreign agent.
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