Independent media companies stamped with the Moscow seal

Meduza Media is the latest in a series of independent, Russian-speaking news media circulating in Moscow.

The Kremlin Energy Center in Moscow. Photo gallery.picture: Frederick Sandberg / TT

On Friday, Russia designated the popular Russian-speaking media company Meduza as a “foreign player,” which means it serves foreign interests critical of power in Moscow.

Meduza, which is published online, is officially based in Latvia, but many of its journalists live in Russia. Meduza is one of the few Russian-speaking media companies operating in Russia and is independent of the Kremlin.

The Justice Ministry, which made the decision, says it is based on “preserving existing laws in Russia”.

The Kremlin has succeeded in silencing, stopping, or shutting down most of the local media companies that have occupied an independent position.

Medusa representatives said the decision meant restricting the media company in Russia, and that it “makes it difficult for us to do our work.”

Meduza announced that it will appeal the decision in court.

The groups or individuals classified as “foreign entities” must report their sources of funding and clearly state the decision.

The “Foreign Players” Act was introduced in 2012, then applied mainly to NGOs. The decision was extended in 2017 to also include media organizations.

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