Russian news website VTimes has announced it is closing after the authorities decided it belongs to the category “foreign agent” used to crack down on unwanted media. Media labeled as “foreign agent” has to publish a 24 word disclaimer saying that the publication is fulfilling the function of a foreign agent.
VTimes was included in the foreign agent category three weeks ago and the site says publishing the disclaimer has destroyed the business.
“Starting last year VTimes, we announced that we are not creating a propaganda tool, but a high-quality and independent media, a platform for free exchange of constructive opinions”, the site said.
“We stated that we want to find positive examples and ideas for the development of business and society. Naturally, without closing our eyes to existing problems and not avoiding sensitive topics. And today we can proudly say: we did it! But by our own example, we have seen that the authorities do not need professional and uncontrolled media.”
VTimes was founded 2020 by a group of journalists who had left business newspaper Vedomosti.