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Russia designates Pussy Riot activists, Holod Media chief editor, and others as ‘foreign agents’ 

The Russian Justice Ministry made yet another round of additions to its “foreign-agent media” registry on Thursday, December 30, blacklisting a number of cultural figures, including two Pussy Riot activists and three journalists.

The Justice Ministry designated Pussy Riot activists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Veronika Nikulshina as “foreign agents,” along with writer and publicist Viktor Shenderovich, gallery owner Marat Gelman, and the founder of the Yaroslavl film club “Neft” Andrey Alekseyev. 

“Foreign agent” designations were also handed to Taisiya Bekbulatova, the editor-in-chief of Holod Media and a former Meduza special correspondent, as well as Ivan Belyaev, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Russian Service (Radio Svoboda), and Elena Vladykina, a journalist for RFE/RL’s project Sever.Realii. 

The Russian Justice Ministry’s “foreign-agent media” registry now includes 111 individuals and organizations, 94 of whom were blacklisted in 2021. 

This past year’s wave of “foreign agent” designations has drawn criticism from both human rights activists and the media. In the fall of 2021, President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia’s “foreign agent” law would be improved. A number of media outlets, the Russian Union of Journalists, and the Presidential Human Rights Council have already drafted amendments to the legislation. In addition, two bills have been submitted to the State Duma that would ensure that this status is only handed down by a court ruling.

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Pressure for pressure’s sake In quest of a monopoly on the term ‘foreign agent,’ state-owned RT goes after a small clothing brand that partnered with Meduza

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Pressure for pressure’s sake In quest of a monopoly on the term ‘foreign agent,’ state-owned RT goes after a small clothing brand that partnered with Meduza

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