Authorities in Russia have designated independent news outlet Meduza an "undesirable organisation", effectively outlawing the site from operating in the country and banning any Russian from cooperating with it or its journalists. Thursday's designation is the latest in a years-long campaign by the Kremlin to curb independent media, in a crackdown that has escalated since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. In a statement announcing the decision, Russia's general prosecutor said the Latvia-based news outlet "poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system and the security of the Russian Federation". Meduza had already been branded a "foreign agent" in Russia in 2021. There was no immediate response from Meduza, one of Russia's most widely read independent news sites, though it did publish a news story on its website, including details about what the designation could mean.
In April, German police, acting on a tip-off from their American colleagues, discovered the servers of the single-largest online bazaar for narcotics and other contraband on the planet. From 2017, Hydra had dominated the illegal drug business in Russia and neighbouring countries. After taking control of the site, German authorities retrieved 23 million euros ($16.7m) in ill-gotten cryptocurrency. But what likely caught the attention of Western law enforcement was not Russian drug dealers, doing business mainly in Russia. Hydra also offered forged documents, hacking, and money laundering services, which could be used nefariously against Western interests or citizens.
Russia's blocking of a liberal radio station and an independent TV channel has shaken remaining independent media in the country that see the invasion of Ukraine as opening up a "second front" against them. Russia's prosecutor general on Tuesday ordered the country's media watchdog to "restrict access" to the Ekho Moskvy radio station and the Dozhd TV channel. It said the ban stems from the "purposeful and systematic" posting of "information calling for extremist activity and violence" and "deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel" in Ukraine. The past year has seen an unprecedented crackdown on independent and critical voices in Russia. Dozens of media workers and independent outlets -- including Dozhd -- have been designated "foreign agents" by authorities.
The ex-husband of Russian President Vladimir Putin's eldest daughter Maria Vorontsova, a construction engineer named Jorrit Faassen, has reportedly not returned to his homeland in 16 years and feels "trapped" in Russia. An investigative report by Current Time and Meduza quoted a source within Putin's inner circle who claimed Faassen feared going back to the Netherlands given the animosity there toward the Kremlin and Putin. "If Faassen returns to Europe, he will definitely not feel at ease there. He has fallen into Putin's inner circle, articles are being written about him, journalists are calling him and his relatives, so it is impossible for him to return to the Netherlands," the person told the news outlets. The joint investigation also revealed a Moscow address reportedly belonging to Faassen.
Fox News Flash top headlines for June 10 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com The detention of a prominent Russian journalist known for investigating corruption has rattled the media community in the country and highlights the pressure faced by news outlets fighting to preserve their independence. Ivan Golunov, 36, a reporter for the Latvia-based independent news website Meduza was detained Thursday for alleged drug offenses, according to information published by the Moscow police. On Saturday, a Moscow court placed Mr. Golunov under house arrest for two months after he was charged with drug possession and intent to deal.