Russia includes Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov on list of foreign agents. Photo/Reuters
MOSCOW – Russia has added prominent journalist and Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov to its list of foreign agents, a label commonly used by authorities to silence critics.
The action targeting the editor of Russia’s leading independent publication, Novaya Gazeta, is part of a broader crackdown on leading civil society institutions that has intensified in line with Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine.
“Muratov used foreign platforms to spread opinions aimed at forming a negative attitude towards the foreign and domestic policies of the Russian Federation,” said the Russian Ministry of Justice to justify the decision as reported by The Guardian, Saturday (2/9/2023).
The ministry also accused Muratov of creating and distributing content from other foreign agents.
“What is there to comment on? For comments, contact the Ministry of Justice,” the Novaya Gazeta website said.
The page added that the list of foreign agents now includes 674 “eligible” people and organizations.
The label, reminiscent of the Soviet-era term “enemy of the people,” adds tough administrative constraints and requires funding sources to be disclosed.
The regulations also force foreign agents to mark all publications – including social media posts – with tags.
This puts foreign agents and people who share their content at risk of heavy fines.