The Russian Ministry of Justice has included editor-in-chief of The New Times Yevgenia Albats, writer Dmitry Bykov, and journalist Dmitry Aleshkovsky, founder of the charitable foundation Need Help, in the register of media “foreign agents”. Appropriate additions have been made to “registry of foreign mass media acting as a foreign agent” on the website of the Ministry of Justice on Friday, July 29.
In total, as of July 29, the list includes 172 people and organizations recognized as “foreign agents” – together with Albats, Bykov and Aleshkovsky, Foreign Agent AAV LLC, created by the former editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy Alexei Venediktov, was included in the list in accordance with the requirements law on “foreign agents”. Himself Venediktov was included in the register in April 2022.
Evgenia Albats, in a commentary to RBC, stated that the Ministry of Justice did not notify her of her inclusion in the list and she would appeal this decision. Previously, Venediktov also tried to do this, but the court remained on the side of the Ministry of Justice.
Law on “Foreign Agents”
In mid-July, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed another law on “foreign agents” – the document made changes to four existing relevant registers, merging them into one, and also expanded the list of reasons why the Russian authorities can recognize organizations or individuals as foreign agents.
One of the main changes is that for this it is no longer necessary to receive money from abroad, but it is enough just to “be under foreign influence.” How exactly such influence can be determined, the text of the document does not explain. At the same time, the document also introduced a number of prohibitions – “foreign agents” it is forbidden to conduct educational and pedagogical activities with minors and produce information products for them, participate in the procurement of goods and services for state and municipal needs, receive financial state support, use significant critical infrastructure facilities and participate as experts in state environmental expertise.