Russia Adds Prominent Journalists, LGBT Activists To Registry Of ‘Foreign Agents’

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4/16/22

The Russian Justice Ministry has added several journalists, including some who have collaborated with RFE/RL, and two LGBT rights activists to its registry of foreign agents. Two prominent journalists — Yury Dud, who has a popular YouTube channel, and Roman Dobrokhotov, editor in chief of the investigative website The Insider — are among those added, the ministry said on April 15. The Insider has already been added to the registry and fined for not labeling its content as produced by a foreign agent. Dobrokhotov has said the website would not mark its materials with the disclaimer because The Insider is registered in Latvia and is not obliged to follow Russian law. The Justice Ministry on April 15 also added political cartoonist and satirist Sergei Yolkin, whose drawings have been published regularly by RFE/RL, and political analyst Yekaterina Shulman to the registry. Journalists Karen Shainyan, Aleksei Semyonov, and Kirill Kruglikov were also added. Semyonov and Kruglikov have collaborated with RFE/RL’s Russian Service. The two LGBT activists are Maria Sabunaeva, head of the Psychological Service of the Russian LGBT Network, and feminist Regina Dzugkoeva. “The Kremlin’s assault on the truth appears increasingly desperate,” RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said in a statement. “It is clear that the Putin regime is worried about their ability to continue to hide the truth. Despite these designations, we are redoubling our efforts to ensure the Russian people have access to independent information.”

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