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Russia names Bellingcat investigative outlet ‘overseas agent’

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MOSCOW, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Russia on Friday designated the Bellingcat investigative news outlet a “foreign agent” together with 9 individuals who work for Russian language news shops or non-governmental organisations.

The designations, which focused one worker of the BBC’s Russian service, are the most recent twist in a crackdown on media shops that the authorities in Moscow see as hostile and foreign-backed.

The shops and Western governments say the marketing campaign is designed to hamper their work and muffle dissent, one thing the Kremlin denies.

The overseas agent designation has Cold War-era connotations and requires designees to prominently point out in all their content material that they’re “foreign agents”, one thing which hurts promoting income. It additionally imposes burdensome monetary reporting necessities.

The Ministry of Justice stated in a press release it had added three corporations to its overseas agent registry, together with Dutch-registered entity Stichting Bellingcat.

Nine people had been additionally named, together with reporters for U.S. broadcaster RFE/RL and its associates in addition to a media rights activist.

The announcement got here the identical day because the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Russian newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov together with a journalist from the Philippines, in what the committee known as an endorsement of free speech rights in jeopardy around the globe. learn extra

Bellingcat has angered Moscow for years with investigations into the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and the downing of the MH17 passenger airplane over japanese Ukraine.

“What took you so long?” tweeted Christo Grozev, an investigator for Bellingcat.

“Bellingcat has been deemed such a threat to Russia that we’ve been declared a foreign agent,” stated Eliot Higgins, Bellingcat’s founder. “I guess this is the Russian Nobel Prize?”

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; enhancing by Andrew Osborn

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