Media organizations in Russia affected by “foreign agent” law

By: Jackson Sharman

Last spring, we wrote about Russia’s revamping of its “foreign agent” law, originally passed in 2012. The additions to the law allow the Russian government to designate any individual or group as a traitor and security threat. The Kremlin has largely applied the foreign agent label to organizations that publish unfavorable views of the Russian government. 

Organizations recently affected by the law:

Meduza: One of the first independent media outlets to be labeled a foreign agent. A Moscow court recently rejectedMeduza’s claim challenging the decision.

Open Russia: A democratic advocacy group founded by exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Open Russia shut down operations in May 2021 after being declared a foreign agent. 

Proekt: An independent outlet specializing in investigative journalism. Proekt announced via Telegram that it has no intention of shutting down. The outlet continues to face pressure from Russian officials. 

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Declared a foreign agent in June 2021. Due to receiving more support from outside Russia (including from the U.S. State Department), the broadcast media outlet has not shut down, but RFE/RL faces intensified pressure within Russia. 

The Insider: A Riga-based media outlet focused on investigative journalism, declared a foreign agent in July 2021. The Insider editor-in-chief has fled Russia. 

TV Rain (Dozhd): Declared a foreign agent in August 2021. The Russian independent television channel also faces mounting pressure from Russian officials. 

VTimes: An independent media outlet that was declared a foreign agent in May 2021. The editors shut down the site in June 2021.

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