June 04, 2021
Published 13 days ago
MOSCOW—Popular Russian news website VTimes has announced that it is closing its operations after being designated a “foreign agent” by the authorities, saying that crackdown on media had scared away its partners, ruined its business and made it harder to manage smoothly.
A group of Russian journalists who quit Vedomosti, a top Russian business newspaper, established VTimes last year. However, the Russian authorities targeted VTimes last month due to some news reports that criticized government policies. “The ‘foreign agent’ label […] has ruined VTimes‘ business model—and we set up this outlet as a business,” VTimes said in a statement. “Advertisers and partners do not understand how to work with a ‘foreign agent’ — and we cannot judge them for that.”
Russian authorities used to label various foreign-funded organizations involved in political activities as foreign agent. The designation requires organizations to publish a 24-word announcement saying their publications are distributed by a media outlet “fulfilling the function of a foreign agent.”
Daily Times, April 16, 2018
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