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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Newspaper Ban Illegal, Court Rules

President Boris Yeltsin's government's suspension of the opposition newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya after the hardline rebellion last month was ruled illegal by a Moscow district court Tuesday, Itar-Tass reported.

The decision allows the newspaper to resume publication within 10 days, the news agency said.

Sovetskaya Rossiya and Pravda were among 16 newspapers banned in a move which sparked accusations of despotism from Yeltsin's critics, and infighting among his advisers.

Sovetskaya Rossiya took the Press and Information Ministry to court after defying the ministry's demand to replace its editor and tone down its pro-communist and nationalist rhetoric.

Pravda changed its editor and was allowed to reopen, but was suspended Friday by the Pressa printing plant for non-payment of debts, along with two other national dailies, Rossiiskaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Komsomolskaya Pravda paid its arrears of 180 million rubles Tuesday and will resume publication Wednesday, said Alexander Kanayev, deputy chief of Pressa.

Lyudmila Pimenova, executive director of Komsomolskaya Pravda, said the paper was able to pay largely because of a stipend of 666 million rubles granted by the Press and Information Ministry.

Pravda and Rossiiskaya Gazeta have still to come up with the funds to pay off their respective debts.

In another example of the testy relationship between the government and the media, Yeltsin announced plans Tuesday to give Russia's only private national television company airtime on a government channel - and then suspended the move a few hours later.

A decree issued Tuesday morning granted about seven hours of daily airtime on Channel 4 to Independent Television, which was formed in September by defectors from state television.

But the decree was suspended Tuesday evening because of disagreements between the government, Independent Television and Ostankino, according to an official who asked that neither he nor his position be named.