Chief editor at independent Russian media outlet ‘MBK Media’ resigns after allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women
Journalist Sergey Prostakov has resigned from his position as chief editor at the news outlet MBK Media, following allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women and a rumor that he masturbated while a woman was gang-raped during a party at his apartment in 2014.
“I want to apologize to all the women whom I offended and who found my behavior offensive. I am truly sorry about how I behaved with you. I never wanted to offend or insult anyone. The problem was an inability to build respectful and equal communications. [...] In this situation, I consider it impossible for me to remain a chief editor at MBK Media,” Prostakov wrote in his Telegram channel.
The resignation follows accusations from multiple women on Twitter that Prostakov touched them and tried to kiss them without consent. Lenta.ru editor Victoria Kuzmenko also tweeted about a rumor that he masturbated while a group of men, supposedly including MBK Media photographer Andrey Zolotov, once raped an intoxicated woman during a party at Prostakov’s apartment. After Prostakov’s resignation, Kuzmenko clarified that she never witnessed the alleged incident and wrote: “I want very much to believe that there was no rape and that [stories about ‘that slut’] were just somebody’s stupid joke. Please find the woman and let her say that I got everything wrong.”
In a series of tweet threads on July 13, other men who work or have worked in the Russian media were also named in rape, abuse, and harassment allegations. In addition to Prostakov and Zolotov, women also named Sberbank SMM-manager Ruslan Gafarov and Sberbank projects head Sergey Minenko.