Russian journalist Sergei Sokolov arrested

Sergei Sokolov is editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The journalist has now been arrested and sentenced to a fine.

Sergei Sokolov is said to have discredited the Russian army in a text.

Russian authorities have arrested journalist and editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Sergei Sokolov, for allegedly denigrating the army. At the same time, he was sentenced to a fine of the equivalent of 300 euros, the newspaper announced on its Telegram channel. The police arrested Sokolov that morning near his Moscow apartment and took him to court.

The Russian news agency Tass reports that Sokolov “posted material on the Novaya Gazeta Telegram channel” that showed “signs of verbal discrediting of the army’s actions.”

Reporters Without Borders criticizes arrest

The organization Reporters Without Borders wrote on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that the arrest was further evidence of “the violence of censorship in Russia.” The newspaper is known for its investigations, which sometimes target the Kremlin, government policies and top officials.

Sokolov has been editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta since September after his predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, was classified as a foreign agent by the Russian authorities.

Law prohibits spread of “false information”

Shortly after the start of the attack against Ukraine, the Russian parliament passed a law banning the denigration of the military or the spread of “false information” about the country’s actions in Ukraine. A little later, Novaya Gazeta announced that it would cease publication for the duration of the war. Other newspapers were banned.

The newspaper’s employees who have migrated abroad have founded a new project, Novaya Gazeta Europa, which has sharply criticized Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Editor of Top Independent Russian Newspaper Detained

The editor-in-chief of the renowned Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta was detained in Moscow on Thursday after being accused of discrediting Russia’s armed forces, the newspaper said.

Sergei Sokolov was detained by officers from Russia’s Center for Combating Extremism, Novaya Gazeta said.

It said the charges — which are “administrative” and are usually punishable by a fine or a short prison sentence — are related to an article printed by the newspaper. The date of Sokolov’s hearing is not yet known.

The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that it “protests against this arrest which further testifies to the violence of censorship in Russia.”

Sokolov took the leadership of Novaya Gazeta’s newsroom in September 2023 after the previous longtime editor-in-chief, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov, was named a “foreign agent” by Russian authorities.

In September 2022, a Moscow court revoked the license of Novaya Gazeta, which has been critical of the Kremlin for years, as part of the authorities’ continuing crackdown on dissent.

Days after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine just over two years ago, the Kremlin-controlled parliament approved legislation that outlawed disparagement of the Russian military or the spread of “false information” about the country’s actions in Ukraine.

Dozens of Russian independent media outlets were banned as a result, while others said they were halting any reporting related to Ukraine.

Novaya Gazeta announced in March 2022 that it was suspending its operations for the duration of the fighting in Ukraine. But members of Novaya Gazeta’s staff who moved abroad launched a new project, Novaya Gazeta Europe, which has been strongly critical of the invasion of Russia’s neighbor.

Exit mobile version