Russian liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy closes its doors on Ukraine

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Ekho Moskvy, a liberal radio station and one of Russia’s main media outlets, has been taken off the air for its critical coverage of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, the station’s manager said on Thursday. radio.
Alexey Venediktov, the radio station’s editor and one of Russia’s most prominent journalists, wrote on Telegram that “high-ranking people” hinted to him that such a move was being considered.
“Ekho Moskvy’s board of directors decided by majority to close the Ekho Moskvy radio channel and the website,” he said.
The press service of the Gazprom Media holding confirmed the information to the Russian news agency TASS.
Venediktov told TASS he planned to hold a meeting of the radio station’s journalists later in the day.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office previously demanded that access to the Ekho Moskvy radio station and the Dozhd (or Rain) television channel (designated in Russia as a foreign agent media) be restricted because of their coverage of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
“After reviewing the order of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to limit access to the Ekho Moskvy media, the board of directors of the closed joint-stock company Ekho Moskvy decided on March 3 to close the media, including the Ekho radio Moskvy channel and the digital media of the same name,” the report said.
The past year has seen an unprecedented crackdown on independent and critical voices in Russia, which only intensified after the attack on Ukraine began.
Russia rejects the term invasion, says its actions are not aimed at occupying territory but at destroying Ukraine’s military capabilities and capturing what it sees as dangerous nationalists – a pretext Ukraine rejects and the West as baseless propaganda.
Russian media have been instructed to only publish information provided by official sources, which describe the attack as a military operation.
Russian lawmakers are reportedly considering a bill on Friday providing for up to 15 years in prison for publishing “fake news” about Russia’s armed forces.
Ekho Mosvky – which is majority-owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom – was founded in 1990 during the dying days of the Soviet Union. It had established itself as one of the main liberal media in the country.
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