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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Director Quits Board of TV6

Leaders of Russia's TV6 television network announced plans to resign Wednesday, shortly after journalists from Russia's sole nationwide, independent television network flocked there to protest its takeover by a Kremlin-connected company.

Natural gas giant Gazprom took control of NTV last week in what the network and its supporters say was a Kremlin-orchestrated assault against critical media. Gazprom claimed that the move was motivated by the need to cut NTV's losses and try to recover debts.

Igor Shabdurasulov, a former presidential aide, did not explain why he decided to leave his position as chairman of the board of directors of TV6, the Interfax news agency reported.

His decision came after TV6 owner Boris Berezovsky, a Russian tycoon in self-imposed foreign exile, agreed to hire NTV journalists including chief editor Yevgeny Kiselyov. Berezovsky had close ties to former President Boris Yeltsin's inner circle and was once a bitter rival of NTV founder Vladimir Gusinsky, but the two so-called oligarchs appear to have found a common foe in Yeltsin's successor Vladimir Putin.

TV6 executive director Alexander Ponomaryov and board member Ruslan Fomichev were also planning to quit, Shabdurasulov said.

Ponomaryov blamed his departure on internal conflicts at the station, apparently with newcomers from NTV.

"There are all kinds of ethical misunderstandings taking place because some people are saying they are better than others," Ponomaryov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

A newspaper and a weekly magazine affiliated with NTV and noted for the same kind of critical reporting also came under fire this week. The Segodnya newspaper did not appear on newsstands Tuesday, and staff were barred from the editorial offices of Itogi magazine.

Itogi was published in cooperation with the U.S. magazine Newsweek. The ousted Itogi editor, Sergei Parkhomenko, said Wednesday that he wanted to start a new magazine in cooperation with Newsweek but that his American partners still needed to be persuaded.

Publisher Dmitry Biryukov said that Newsweek was still associated with the old Itogi, and the American publication's name would continue to appear on its masthead. He reiterated that Segodnya was closed because it was losing money, and said the newspaper's stock would be distributed to staff next month.

Meanwhile, Gusinsky, the founder of both publications and NTV, won a victory in a Spanish court Wednesday when a three-judge panel turned down a Russian request for extradition on fraud charges.