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Russia’s largest independent newspaper, co-founded by Gorbachev, ceases operations after warnings, World News

Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s leading independent newspapers and whose editor Dmitry Muratov was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize last year, has suspended its activities until the end of the invasion of Ukraine via Moscow.

Editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov said in a statement he made the decision after receiving two warnings of legal action from the government censorship agency Roskomnadzor.

A third warning would result in the revocation of the newspaper’s press license.

Muratov said it was a “difficult” decision, indicating it was an effort to “save” the respected publication and avoid a total shutdown.

“For us and, I know, for you, this is a terrible and difficult decision. But we have to save each other,” he said in a statement.

In recent years, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on the media, prohibiting them from reporting that contradicts official government sources. Repression intensified further following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Under a new law, publishers and outlets potentially face up to 15 years in prison for breaking the new rule.

According to The Moscow Times, another independent newspaper that operates partly from Amsterdam, most Russian media have been forced into exile.

Novaya Gazeta is one of Russia’s oldest and most respected independent media.

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It was co-founded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993. It is the only major newspaper to still criticize President Vladimir Putin and his tactics inside and outside the country.

Last year, Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Maria Ressa of the Philippines for their efforts “to safeguard freedom of expression”.

Last week, Muratov said the newspaper had decided to donate the gold medal to a fund to help Ukrainian refugees.

(With agency contributions)