As the Kremlin increasingly isolates itself on the world stage, the casualties keep piling up: The Moscow Times, Russia's English-language newspaper of 23 years, is dying as an outlet of independent journalism, many journalists are now saying.
Founded by Dutch publisher Derk Sauer in 1992, the newspaper played an integral role in defeating censorship in the early 1990s [...]
In recent years, as numerous independent news sources were taken over or toppled by Kremlin-friendly forces, The Moscow Times stood out as one of the remaining sources for critical coverage.
But the death watch has begun, as chief editor Nabi Abdullaev steps down amid new ownership and a drastically different format.
“Another good editor gone, and (it’s) the end of the newspaper I co-founded. Sad,” Sauer wrote on Twitter on hearing the news.
One very noticeable sign of major changes to come is that the newspaper is to cease publishing Monday through Friday in print, and become a weekly on Nov. 1 – and this in a city of nearly 12 million people.
The shake-up came after President Vladimir Putin signed a bill last fall limiting foreign ownership in any Russian media assets to 20 percent – a move that many saw as the death knell for both foreign investment and foreign media in Russia, as the country seemed to become increasingly isolated.