Russia Bans The Moscow Times, Forces Its Closure – Find Out Why!

Moscow, Russia – In a recent development, the Russian government has labeled The Moscow Times as an “undesirable organization,” effectively banning its operations within the country. This move exposes anyone collaborating with the English-language media outlet to potential criminal charges. The prosecutor general’s office in Russia issued a statement accusing The Moscow Times of discrediting the decisions of the Russian leadership in both foreign and domestic policy.

This decision reflects a broader trend in Russia, where authorities have used the “undesirable” label to crack down on independent media and civic organizations critical of the Kremlin. Several prominent Russian investigative projects have faced similar restrictions in recent years, severely limiting their ability to report inside the country and putting journalists and sources at legal risk.

The “undesirable” classification requires organizations to cease operations in Russia, putting Russian citizens who work for, fund, or collaborate with them at risk of potential prosecution, including jail terms of up to five years. The Moscow Times, known for its coverage in both English and Russian, has been a launching pad for many accomplished correspondents covering Russia.

The publication, established in 1992 by Dutch publisher Derk Sauer, was the first Western daily to be published in Russia. However, ongoing tensions between the outlet and Russian authorities led to the relocation of its office to Amsterdam in 2022. Following this move, the Russian Justice Ministry designated The Moscow Times as a “foreign agent,” a step often taken to drive organizations out of the country.

Access to The Moscow Times’ website has faced restrictions in Russia, with authorities citing the publication of “false information aimed at discrediting the activities of state authorities” concerning the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Despite these challenges, editors at The Moscow Times remain committed to reporting the truth about Russia and its actions, even in the face of increased risks and obstacles.