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Court marshals raid Moscow newsroom after lawsuit by member of parliament

Source: Readovka

Armed with a warrant to “block the publication’s entire website,” court marshals raided the offices of Readovka on Friday. A day earlier, “Antimaidan” leader and United Russia State Duma deputy Dmitry Sablin took the online news outlet to court, demanding the retraction of an article about a yacht he allegedly owns but did not disclose to the public.

In a message on Telegram, Readovka stressed that blocking its entire website was never discussed during the trial. Editors say the court marshals’ actions are an attempt to pressure the newsroom into deleting its report about Sablin. “We reject this absolutely illegal ruling,” the journalists declared.

Speaking to MBK Media, Readovka editor-in-chief Alexey Kostylev said the surprise orders to block the website are tied to a ruling from last year. Sablin has filed multiple lawsuits against Readovka, but he has never demanded that the authorities block the outlet’s entire website, Kostylev explained.

Dmitry Sablin previously sued Readovka for reporting in January 2020 that he owns a controlling stake in the Lenin Sovkhoz Farm. Three months later, as an injunctive measure, a Moscow court ordered Readovka to take its website offline. When editors refused, the outlet was fined 50,000 rubles ($685). In August 2020, the court ordered Readovka to delete its report about Sablin and the Lenin Sovkhoz, but the story remains accessible to this day.

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