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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kommersant Warned Over Its Coverage

The government media regulatory agency has warned Kommersant not to mention the unregistered National Bolshevik Party on its pages.

The Federal Service for Media Law Compliance and Cultural Heritage said in a letter to Kommersant that the newspaper would be in violation of the law if it printed the words "National Bolshevik Party" or an abbreviation of the unregistered party's name.

The agency was enforcing its own ruling that since Eduard Limonov's organization is not registered, the media should not refer to it as a political party.

"If there is no party, it's impossible to write about it," agency spokesman Yevgeny Strelchik said.

The service's deputy head, Nikolai Novikov, told Ekho Moskvy radio on Friday that the letter was an attempt to head off future violations, and that Kommersant had not been cited.

National Bolshevik spokesman Alexander Averin said authorities were trying to impose a media blackout on dissent.

"They're afraid of us because we are the most combative force, the most radical of those who don't agree with them," Averin said.

While the National Bolsheviks have been banned as a political party, they can still be referred to as a public organization.

On Thursday, the Moscow City Court was expected to begin hearings into a request by the Prosecutor General's Office to ban the group for extremism, but the trial was postponed until April 18.

Reuters, MT