Putin tightens screws on media

The news that the Russian government would overhaul two important media organizations, RIA and the Voice of Russia, came from the news agency itself in a press release on Monday: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131209/185390572/Russia-Announces-State-Owned-Media-Overhaul.html

(RIA photo: Mikhail Fomichev)
(RIA photo: Mikhail Fomichev)

Anyone who values an independent media should find this deeply troubling. The restructuring will impact both RIA with news reporters spread all over the world and the stellar work done by the Voice of Russia. The new organization will be called Russia Today, the same name that the very popular RT used in past years.

We are also deeply concerned as this comes on the heels of anticipated news that the state will bring new charges against imprisoned the former Yukos Oil CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. This is nothing more than making sure that the number one opposition figure remains in prison for a long time. The charges are, and have always been, bogus. This will be trial number three. This signals that Mr. Putin plans to run for yet another 6 year term once the current term, which began in 2012, expires.

Likely this will lead to economic stagnation as investors and business owners will initiate yet more capital and brain flight.

It is believed that the Russian president is paranoid over the protests in Ukraine and fears a loss of control in Russia.

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