Novaya gazeta Editor in Chief Dmitry Muratov leaves the Supreme Court building in Moscow on September 15.
MOSCOW -- Russia's Supreme Court has withdrawn the license of the Novaya gazeta newspaper's website, one of the last independent media outlets in the country, amid a media crackdown amid the Kremlin's war against Ukraine.
The court's September 15 ruling was made at request of media regulator Roskomnadzor, which accused the newspaper of failing to label its materials as having been prepared by a media outlet included on the Justice Ministry's registry of "foreign agents."
Last week, the Basmanny district court in Moscow annulled the licenses of Novaya gazeta's print materials and its Novaya rasskaz-gazeta magazine. The government has used Russian courts to intensify pressure on the free press since the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Novaya gazeta was founded in part with money from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and was one of the most respected publications in post-Soviet Russia since 1993. It suspended operations inside the country in March after being forced to remove material from its website on Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine.
Some members of the paper's staff left Russia after it stopped publishing and launched the newspaper Novaya gazeta.Europe from Latvia's capital, Riga. Roskomnadzor has blocked that website inside Russia as well. Novaya gazeta's chief editor, Dmitry Muratov, a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has remained in Russia despite his vocal opposition to the conflict in Ukraine. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Moscow quickly adopted a law criminalizing the dissemination of "false" information that "discredits the armed forces." The law has been central to a massive crackdown against dissent over the war in Russia.