Russia: resignation grouped in the editor of a large daily

Russie: démission groupée dans la rédaction d’un grand quotidien

Moscow | The five editors-in-chief deputy of the main daily economic newspaper Russian vedomosti daily have presented their resignations on Monday, after months of arm-twisting with the new editor-in-chief accused of censorship, on the background of the takeover of the journal.

These five journalists, one of which is present since the beginnings of the journal in 1999 and the other in the last fifteen years, “is leaving the newspaper to protest against the appointment of Andrei Chmarov as editor-in-chief of the publication”, indicates the newspaper in an article published online.

The journal was bought at the end of may by the director of a press agency unknown named FederalPress, Ivan Iériomine.

But from the month of march and the announcement by the former owner of its intention to sell the media, a new editor-in-chief has been appointed, Andrei Chmarov.

Since then, journalists have denounced the increase in cases of censorship, whether it’s a topic on the maintenance in power of president Putin, another on the decline of his popularity according to a poll by the Levada centre, or articles related to the oil giant Rosneft.

The editorial says that the sale of the newspaper is in reality a takeover by this group and its all-powerful boss Igor Setchine, very close to the Russian president.

In may, a survey conducted by vedomosti daily, Meduza, Forbes Russia, and The Bell has revealed that Rosneft “controlled” de facto this business daily and had been able to choose his new bosses, because his bank, RRDB (Russian Regional Development Bank), had the hand on the debt of the owner at the time, Mr. Koudriavtsev.

“In recent months, a dozen journalists and over 90, including three department heads, have left the vedomosti daily” because of their “unwillingness to work” with Mr. Chmarov, said the newspaper.

For 20 years, and the arrival of Vladimir Putin to power, all the national television channels, private as well as the many radio and newspaper passed into the hands of owners around the Kremlin or have disappeared.

Co-founded and co-owned in 1999 by the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and by the company by the Independent Media contractor Dutch Derk Sauer, vedomosti daily has accompanied the reign of Vladimir Putin.

Vedomosti daily has since changed hands several times, as the possibility for foreigners to own Russian media has gradually been restricted.

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