Vedomosti turned into a Kremlin-controlled paper?

In Russia the business newspaper Vedomosti has changed hands. Despite assurances that the newspaper's independence will be preserved, within just a few weeks the new editor-in-chief Andrei Shmarov has turned the editorial staff against him after banning the publication of data from the independent opinion research institute Levada and changing or deleting texts about the Kremlin-affiliated oil company Rosneft.

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Novaya Gazeta (RU) /

Our newspaper will no longer serve its purpose

Novaya Gazeta publishes an open letter from the editorial board at Vedomosti:

“If Vedomosti loses its reputation it will become another dependent and controllable media outlet whose goal is no longer to meet the readers' need for verified news and high-quality analysis but to implement the interests and ambitions of the official and covert owners. There are already enough such media in Russia. This will be a media outlet with the previous company logo and title, but with a generally different content. If the new supervisory board understands this it should consider different candidates for the position of editor-in-chief.”

Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

No one wants another government mouthpiece

Commentator Anton Orech of Echo of Moscow sees the Kremlin acting behind the scenes:

“Until recently, this paper was one of the few more or less qualitative print media that still commanded authority among respectable citizens. That is precisely why this rape was orchestrated. After all that has now happened in its newsroom, Vedomosti can no longer remain a good or respected newspaper. Because either you publish all objective and independent points of view or you make a black list and only print what the [Kremlin] administration likes. But in that case you are no longer a respected media outlet. The people who read you until now will stop doing so. Vedomosti will lose its old readership and it won't gain a new one.”