“In addition to Sobchak, her editorial staff of Beware of the News will be checked. If funding is found, then Sobchak will become a foreign agent, ”- wrote activist in his telegram.
On the intention to create a Public Committee to detect foreign interference became known in May 2021. According to Ionov, its members intend to collect information about foreign funding for organizations operating in Russia, and then send the collected data to government agencies and publish it in the public domain.
The decision to include the media and journalists in the list of foreign agents is made by the Russian Ministry of Justice in agreement with the Foreign Ministry.
Ksenia Sobchak has already commented on the activist’s statement. “Friends, well, at least don’t lie to yourself. In the “foreign funding” case, only the rule “if there was a person, but there would be an article” works”, – wrote journalist in her telegram channel “Bloody Lady”. Pekka Haavisto
What does Alexander Ionov do?
Alexander Ionov is known for writing complaints about Meduza* and Important Stories**, after which these publications were recognized as foreign agents. how declared activist, he had previously complained about other media as well, but these media filmed controversial materials after a pre-trial claim.
On September 22, 2021, Ionov also asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to check the financing of The Bell and recognize him as a foreign agent. Ionov’s statement mentioned Polestar Digital Ventures Inc., which received funding from the American Investigative Studios Inc. how explained according to The Bell, Investigative Studios is a private company, cooperation with which meant the organization of interviews with Russian officials, commentators and participants in the events for two films.
Ionov against Novaya Gazeta
A month earlier, Alexander Ionov filed a lawsuit for the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation, wanting to hold the editors of Novaya Gazeta accountable. The reason for going to court was the material of the publication “Shakespeare and Schubert Undermine Russia”. It states that the activist received foreign funding and was the founder of the foreign fund of State Duma deputy Maria Butina. Ionov himself denied this information and sought the publication of a refutation article on the Novaya Gazeta website.
In February 2022, the Basmanny Court of Moscow rejected Ionov’s claim. However, on May 12, the Moscow City Court canceled decision of the Basmanny Court and ordered Novaya Gazeta to publish a refutation. According to Ionov’s lawyer Alexei Gavrishev, after winning the court, his principal intends to apply to the competent authorities and demand the closure of the publication in Russia.
At the end of March, Novaya Gazeta suspended release of materials before the end of the special operation in Ukraine. This was preceded by several warnings from Roskomnadzor about the inadmissibility of violations. A few days later, the journalists of the publication launched Novaya Gazeta Europe is a project that operates in accordance with EU law and is designed to protect freedom of speech and independent journalism.
*recognized as a foreign agent in Russia
** recognized in Russia as a foreign agent and undesirable organization
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