Russia Update: Rosbalt Issued Second Warning by State Censor

July 15, 2015
Rosbalt offices in Moscow. File photo. RIA Novosti, a critical news agency, has been issued a second warning by the state censor for a news article about an ultranationalist Ukrainian politician.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

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Special features:

‘I Was on Active Duty’: Interview with Captured GRU Officer Aleksandrov
Meet The Russian Fighters Building A Base Between Mariupol And Donetsk
‘There Was No Buk in Our Field’
With Cash and Conspiracy Theories, Russian Orthodox Philanthropist Malofeyev is Useful to the Kremlin

Russia This Week:

Is ‘Novorossiya’ Really Dead?
From Medal of Valor to Ubiquitous Propaganda Symbol: the History of the St. George Ribbon
What Happened to the Slow-Moving Coup?
Can We Be Satisfied with the Theory That Kadyrov Killed Nemtsov?
All the Strange Things Going On in Moscow

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Russian State Censor Issues Second Warning to Rosbalt, Critical Russian Media Site

Roskomnadzor, the state media monitoring agency that serves as a censor, has issued a warning to, a critical news site, Novaya Gazeta reports, citing a notice on

The censor objected to an article published on July 8, 2015 titled “Farion, Calling for the Destruction of Moscow, Accused the RF Investigative Committee of ‘Insanity'” which still remains on Robalt’s news site.

The article was accompanied by a video in which former Ukrainian MP Irina Farion spoke in Ukrainian, calling for the destruction of Moscow and denounced Putin as an aggressor, with Russian sub-titles. The link to the video now appears to have been removed, but it is easily found with search terms on YouTube.

The video was placed on the federal register of banned extremist materials in December, 2014.

said the video violated Russian media law as it contained “calls for
committing crimes motivated by political hatred and also incitement to
ethnic enmity.” The site was sent a written notice and as a repeat
offender, could face administrative action as well with a fine from
100,000 to 1 million rubles ($1,758 to $17,583).

In 2013,
Roskomnadzor had already received a warning for publishing a video with
swear words, after which it was stripped of its media license. The
Supreme Court later declared that removal of the license illegal. has been most active in publishing leaks from the investigation of the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and other controversial stories.

, a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and former member of the
Communist Party and currently a member of the Svoboda party, is among
the favorite targets of Russian propagandists for her outrageous anti-Russian
comments, attacks on
Russian-language teaching and Russian language usage in Ukraine, and even incitements for Russians to be killed.

She was
elected to parliament in 2006 from Lviv Region, and again in 2012.
Another MP, Vadym Kolesnichenko, tried to have her indicted for her
incitement of discrimination. When she ran in the 2014 elections, she
was not elected.

Her most notorious remark was on her Facebook page on the day of the fire
at the Odessa Trade Union Buildings on May 2, 2014 when she wrote,
“Bravo, Odessa…let the demons burn in hell.”

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick