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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kiselyov's Car Seized by Police

Police early Saturday confiscated the car of TV6 general director Yevgeny Kiselyov, telling him that the car had been sought since Jan. 11 by bailiffs who closed down TV6 in accordance with a court ruling declaring it bankrupt.

But Kiselyov said the car was his personal property.

"This is utterly absurd," Alexei Venediktov, editor in chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, who was also in the car, told the internet site NTVru.com. "The car has always stood outside Yevgeny Kiselyov's house. There was no need to look for it. ... The police were very polite and acted strictly within the bailiff's orders. ... But I have never believed in things happening by chance or coincidence."

Kiselyov, Venediktov and another journalist were released after the car was impounded at a police station. The three men had been stopped in the sports utility vehicle at 10:30 p.m. Friday on their way to a meeting. A police spokesman said the car had been seized because court orders had declared Kiselyov a debtor in connection with the channel's financial difficulties, Interfax reported.

The TV6 shutdown all but gave the Kremlin a monopoly of the airwaves and prompted concern in the West about the independence of the media under President Vladimir Putin.

TV6 owner Boris Berezovsky, now living in self-imposed exile in Britain, has decried the closure as the latest bid to bring the media to heel and reiterated Friday that Kommersant, another newspaper he owns, might be the next target.

"This is step-by-step, they are not able to stop all media in one day," he said in an interview Friday.

Berezovsky, who said he still had interests in Russian aluminum, oil, real estate, media and cars worth "billions of dollars," explained why he supported Putin ahead of the 2000 presidential election. "The main reason for my backing him was that he was a reformer, and that he had a strong will, which is the one thing I still like in him today," he said. "I had a choice between [former Prime Minister Yevgeny] Primakov and Putin, and even today Putin is better than Primakov. I thought it was a choice between good and bad, but it was a choice between bad and worse."