Russian Media Regulation Agency Issues Warning To The New Times

Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulation agency, issued a warning to The New Times magazine for the article "If Only There Was No War." The warning was received on the day they published an investigation into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged eldest daughter.

The New Times received its first warning from Roskomnadzor in nine years. Chief Editor Yevgenia Albats told RBC that the breach was found in January's issue of the magazine (№ 392) in the category "January Of Our Anxiety." The text mentions the Ukrainian ultranationalist group "Right Sector" (Pravyi Sektor) without indicating that this organization was banned by the Russian Supreme Court.

Roskomnadzor’s press secretary Vadim Ampelonsky confirmed the warning. "This is an obvious violation. We have warned the media several times about how to write about illegal organizations properly,” he said to RBC. In addition to the warning, the magazine will have to pay a fine for an administrative offense, specified Ampelonsky. The chief editor was summoned to Roskomnadzor for protocol forming.

According to the law on mass media, if any edition gets two warnings within 12 months, it may have its license revoked upon the decision of the court.  Ampelonsky also specified that for The New Times this is the first warning in the calendar year.

According to The New Times, Putin’s elder daughter is Maria Vorontsova, who had studied at the Faculty of Fundamental Medicine (FFM) in Lomonosov Moscow State University from 2006 to 2011. As the magazine says, she graduated from the University with honors in 2011. Then she entered postgraduate school in the Endocrinology Research Center of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Vorontsova's scientific director was Academician Ivan Dedov, whose son soon became a judge of the ECHR from Russia, the magazine notes. The newspaper also published pictures of Vorontsova from 2008-2013.

After publication of the material, The New Times website became unavailable to visitors. It stopped responding about noon and at the time of this writing worked only intermittently. Albats suspects that "the website is being mightily DDoS-attacked." Albats clarified that last time the site fell under a massive hacker attack was after publication of an interview with the former head of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2013. "Technical service made their conclusions. We are ready for a powerful influx of visitors. The site is able to cope with a large number of visits without crashing,” emphasized the chief editor.

  Russia, Putin