The Real Russia. Today. Saving ‘The New Times’; defense industry construction workers betrayed in Kamchatka; and the West’s failed Russia sanctions

On October 26, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court imposed a fine of 22.3 million rubles ($329,150) on The New Times for late paperwork (plus an additional 30,000 rubles, or $490, on chief editor Yevgenia Albats), after the magazine didn’t report its foreign funding to Russia’s media regulator on time. Editors at The New Times say the fine — the biggest in the history of Russian media regulation — is politically motivated, and lawyers for the outlet will challenge the ruling in appellate court on November 20. The magazine also announced a crowdfunding initiative to raise the money needed to pay the fine. Four days later, at 8:31 a.m. EST, Albats announced that supporters had donated 25,443,090 rubles ($376,293). Meduza recalls the stories over the years that made The New Times one of Russia’s top independent news outlets.

Five reasons why Russians just donated 25.4 million rubles to save an independent news magazine

On October 26, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court imposed a fine of 22.3 million rubles ($329,150) on The New Times for late paperwork (plus an additional 30,000 rubles, or $490, on chief editor Yevgenia Albats), after the magazine didn’t report its foreign funding to Russia’s media regulator on time. Editors at The New Times say the fine — the biggest in the history of Russian media regulation — is politically motivated, and lawyers for the outlet will challenge the ruling in appellate court on November 20. The magazine also announced a crowdfunding initiative to raise the money needed to pay the fine. Four days later, at 8:31 a.m. EST, Albats announced that supporters had donated 25,443,090 rubles ($376,293). Meduza recalls the stories over the years that made The New Times one of Russia’s top independent news outlets.

Supposed ‘troll factory’ founder and mercenary kingpin attends talks between Russia’s defense minister and the head of the Libyan National Army

Billionaire Evgeny Prigozhin attended talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army, in Moscow on November 7, according to video footage published on the Libyan military’s official YouTube channel. The newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has recently published two revelatory articles about Prigozhin, was the first to notice the catering tycoon’s presence at the negotiations.

Dozens of construction workers at a Russian military installation outside Kamchatka have been threatened and marooned without pay

In September 2018, an electrician living in Kazan named Ruslan Shamsutdinov came across an online job posting from a company called “Buildings and Structures Construction Management” (SUZS) looking for electricians to work on a project in the town of Vilyuchinsk in Kamchatka, offering 80,000 rubles ($1,180) a month. Shamsutdinov applied for the job and got it. He arrived in Kamchatka on October 12.

The Real Russia. Today. Prigozhin’s dirty laundry airs again, a profile of ‘Russia’s New Yorker,’ and a harassment scandal at Meduza

The newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published an interview with Andrey Mikhailov, the man who allegedly helped catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin build a media empire. Mikhailov says he agreed to speak to the news media as retribution for an incident last year, when he claims men with ties to Prigozhin abducted him, brought him to a forest, and beat him. In the interview, Mikhailov discussed the creation of the St. Petersburg “troll factory,” and the staging of various “provocations” against Prigozhin’s enemies and competitors, as well as several journalists. Novaya Gazeta says Mikhailov’s claims are supported by open-source information and private materials provided to its reporters. Meduza offers the following summary of the interview.

An accomplice to the founder of Russia’s ‘troll factory’ says the organization was created without Kremlin instructions

The newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published an interview with Andrey Mikhailov, the man who allegedly helped catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin build a media empire. Mikhailov says he agreed to speak to the news media as retribution for an incident last year, when he claims men with ties to Prigozhin abducted him, brought him to a forest, and beat him. In the interview, Mikhailov discussed the creation of the St. Petersburg “troll factory,” and the staging of various “provocations” against Prigozhin’s enemies and competitors, as well as several journalists. Novaya Gazeta says Mikhailov’s claims are supported by open-source information and private materials provided to its reporters. Meduza offers the following summary of the interview.

A harassment scandal at Meduza

For the past two weeks, Meduza has been at the center of a sexual harassment scandal involving its chief editor. In the interests of transparency, Meduza is summarizing recent events, its executive board’s response, and reactions from around the Russian mediasphere. Disclosure: The following article concerns developments inside the Meduza newsroom.

The Real Russia. Today. Moscow State Univ’s FSB ‘infowar’ instructor, the Kremlin and the U.S. midterms, and Russia’s Northern Fleet troubles

Moscow State University’s Political Science Department offers an elective course on “information war” where students are currently learning how Western intelligence agencies falsified news about the attempted assassination of Sergey Skripal and his daughter in order to embarrass the Kremlin and erode international trust in Russia.

A former FSB agent is teaching students at Moscow State University how Britain defeated Russia in the ‘infowar’ over Sergey Skripal

Moscow State University’s Political Science Department offers an elective course on “information war” where students are currently learning how Western intelligence agencies falsified news about the attempted assassination of Sergey Skripal and his daughter in order to embarrass the Kremlin and erode international trust in Russia.