Nobel Prize-winning newspaper Novaya Gazeta forced to close under Putin’s war fall

Russian Nobel Prize-winning newspaper Novaya Gazeta announced it would suspend publication until the end of Vladimir Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine.

A new law, rubber-stamped by parliament this month, bans reporters from telling the truth about the Ukraine invasion and even using the word “war”. Journalists can be jailed for up to 15 years for breaking draconian laws that force many Western media outlets to stop reporting on the country. Several independent broadcasters also made similar decisions, which is a major blow to freedom of expression. Hitherto, Novaya Gazeta was arguably the country’s most important media organization.

The newspaper’s website was empty on Monday morning except for a slightly ironic announcement. “We have received another warning from Roskomnadzor,” the statement said, referring to Russia’s Mass Communications, Information Technology and Communications Supervision Agency. “After that, we will stop reporting both online and in print until the end of the ‘special operation on Ukrainian territory’.”

Just last year, editor Dmitry Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize. At that time, Novaya GazetaPavel Kanygin’s told The Daily Beast they hope international recognition will keep them safe from repression. “The Nobel Prize is our shield. Muratov told us it was an award for our entire editorial office and now we will be able to protect reporters who are under attack with our shield,” he said.

Obviously, the Nobel shield is not enough. Seven journalists for the newspaper have been assassinated since 2001, including Anna Politkovskaya, a New York-born investigative journalist who was fatally shot outside her apartment following publication. Putin’s Russia: Life in a Failed Democracy.

While most of Russia’s independent newspapers have gone into exile or published blank pages after Putin began revealing how he covered up his invasion of Ukraine, Novaya Gazeta has remained public – so far. Stores are banned from using words like “war” and in fact up to 15 years in prison if they break the rules. Nobel Prize-winning newspaper Novaya Gazeta forced to close under Putin’s war fall

Russell Falcon

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