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Nobel laureate placed on Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ list — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

The Russian Justice Ministry has added 2021 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dmitry Muratov to its list of ‘foreign agents’, after accusing the editor-in-chief of the long-running liberal newspaper ‘Novaya Gazeta’ of spreading negative attitudes towards Russia in foreign nations.

Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Filipino investigative reporter Maria Ressa in honor of their commitment to free speech, which was described by the award’s committee as “a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

At the time, the Kremlin had congratulated the journalist on his win. “He persistently works in accordance with his own ideals, he is devoted to them, he is talented, he is brave,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said at the time.

The journalist reacted to the committee’s decision by paying tribute to jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, noting that he would have “voted” for him. ‘Novaya Gazeta’ was known for its critical stance on many of Russia’s policies. Muratov himself was also highly critical of the ongoing Russian military campaign in Ukraine.

Two months ago, he held a speech at the ‘Global Media Forum’ organized by Germany’s state broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, where he claimed that Russia was moving towards a ‘junta’ rule and was no longer part of Europe.

In its Friday decision, the Russian Justice Ministry accused the journalist of “using foreign venues to disseminate opinions aimed at forming a negative attitude towards Russia’s foreign and domestic policies.” Muratov was added to the ‘foreign agent’ list along with eight other people, including several journalists, a former local MP, an economist, and a comedian, all of whom were all accused of either spreading misinformation about Russian policies or calling for unauthorized protests and disseminating anti-Russian sentiments.

The status of a ‘foreign agent’ in Russia is reserved for people that either receive foreign funding or are ‘under foreign influence’ and seek to sway Russia’s policies or public opinion. The law on ‘foreign agents’ was passed back in 2012. In 2018, it was amended to allow the Justice Ministry to label individuals as ‘foreign agents’.

Muratov himself has previously criticized this policy by calling it “shameful.”

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