Hours after Russian journalist wins Nobel Peace Prize, Russia designates nine more journalists (plus Bellingcat) as ‘foreign agents’

The Russian Justice Ministry added nine more individuals and three organizations to its “foreign agent” registry on Friday, October 8, just hours after Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

One of the blacklisted organizations is the well-known investigative project Bellingcat. The Justice Ministry also handed “foreign agent” status to the parent company of the news outlet Caucasian Knot and the company that owns M.News.

Among the individuals designated as “foreign agents” are Mass Media Defense Center director Galina Arapova and political scientist Evgeny Simonov.

This status was also handed down to the following seven journalists, many of whom were affiliated with the investigative outlet Proekt:

Daniil Sotnikov, Dozhd television journalist, who worked with Proekt;Andrey Zakharov, BBC News Russian correspondent, who also worked with Proekt;Elizaveta Surnacheva, Current Time TV journalist, former deputy editor-in-chief of Proekt;Elena Solovyova, 7×7 journalist;Roman Perl, Current Time TV journalist;Tatyana Voltskaya, Radio Svoboda (RFE/RL) journalist;Ekaterina Klepikovskaya, Sever Realii (RFE/RL) journalist.

In July, the Russian authorities blacklisted Proekt as an “undesirable organization” and designated a number of journalists as “foreign agents.” The investigative outlet later rebranded under the name Agentsvo (The Agency).

Since April 2021, the the Russian Justice Ministry has handed down “foreign agent” status to more than 50 independent media outlets and journalists. Outlets designated as “foreign agents” now include Meduza, Dozhd television, Mediazona, iStories, and The Insider, among others.

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