Independent outlet VTimes joins Meduza on Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ news media list
Meduza has new company on Russia’s registry of “foreign agent” media outlets. On Friday, the Justice Ministry designated the independent news outlet VTimes, claiming that the online publication “fulfills the functions of a foreign agent.”
Registered as a legal entity in the Netherlands, VTimes was created less than a year ago in July 2020 by journalists who fled Vedomosti in protest against actions by the newspaper’s new owners. The media manager Derk Sauer, who founded Vedomosti together with The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times back in 1999, became an adviser to VTimes.
In the spring of 2020, FederalPress publisher Ivan Eremin acquired Vedomosti and controversially appointed Andrey Shmarov as editor-in-chief. Shmarov immediately began censoring reporters and columnists and interfering in the newspaper’s reporting, leading to an exodus of staff, including five deputy chief editors.