Russian Justice Ministry designates Dozhd and iStories as a ‘foreign agent’ media
The Russian Justice Ministry has designated the independent television channel Dozhd (TV Rain) and the investigative publication iStories as “foreign agent” media outlets.
“Foreign agent” status was also handed down to iStories editor-in-chief Roman Anin, as well as journalists Roman Shleynov, Olesya Shmagun, Alesya Markhovskaya, Irina Dolinina, and Dmitry Velikovsky.
In addition, the Justice Ministry added an individual by the name of Stepan Petrov to its “foreign agent” registry. Presumably, this is the general director of the public organization “Yakutia — Our Opinion,” which was liquidated on August 20.
Since April 2021, Russia has also designated the independent media outlets Meduza, The Insider, and VTimes as “foreign agents” (VTimes shut down following the designation). In addition, a number of journalists from Proekt, RFE/RL’s Russian Service, and Open Media have been labeled as “foreign agents.” Proekt itself was blacklisted as an “undesirable organization.” As well, the news outlets Open Media and MBK Media shut down after the Russian authorities blocked their websites.
Meduza’s “foreign agent” designation came after anti-globalization activist Alexander Ionov filed a complaint against our news outlet with Russia’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor. In July 2021, Ionov reported iStories to the Russian authorities over alleged foreign funding, and demanded that its editor-in-chief, Roman Anin, be labeled a “foreign agent.” Anin responded by promising to take Ionov to court.