Editors quit Russian newspaper, accusing boss of pro-Kremlin censorship

Five senior editors at Vedomosti, one Russia’s prominent business newspapers resigned on Monday in protest at the appointment an editor-in- they say has applied pro-Kremlin censorship to coverage.

Their resignation, according to the newspaper, occurred after the publication’s acting editor-in-, Andrei Shmarov, was confirmed to the post by the publisher’s board directors.

The five editors, Dmitry Simakov, Boris Safronov, Philip Sterkin, Kirill Kharatyan and Alexander Gubsky  all served as Shmarov’s deputies, Vedomosti .

“We not find it possible to work an editor-in- who his actions has shown he doesn’t care about rules, standards and principles,’’ Safronov, a deputy editor-in-chief who has worked for the paper since 1999, told Reuters.

Shmarov said on Monday the resignation his deputies represented a major loss for the newspaper, which he said would continue operations.

One reporter in April publicly complained Shmarov had forbidden negative coverage of President Vladimir ’s plans to change the constitution so he could potentially stay in power until 2036.

The reporter added Shmarov had threatened to fire those who defied the ban.

Others said Shmarov had barred publication of opinion carried out by a research firm that had irritated the Kremlin.

Shmarov told Reuters at the time that he had not threatened to sack anyone and that his editorial decisions were his own and not the result of any instructions given by anyone else, including any government business structure.

Until recently, Vedomosti had been widely regarded as one of the few high profile publications in Russia not to be under the control of the authorities businessmen ties to the Kremlin.

Shmarov was appointed acting editor-in-chief at the end of March, after it was announced that two businessmen would be buying the newspaper.

Journalists had called for the newspaper’s management to appoint someone else.(Reuters/NAN)