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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vedomosti Gets Extremism Warning

VedomostiThe Federal Mass Media Inspection Service ruled that an opinion piece published in Vedomosti on April 9 publicly justified terrorist activity. The inspection service issued its warning to the business newspaper on June 24.

A government watchdog has slapped Vedomosti with a formal warning, saying the newspaper promoted extremism by publishing an opinion piece by a well-known writer and journalist three months ago.

The Federal Mass Media Inspection Service ruled that Maya Kucherskaya's article “Timeless Values. A Communication Breakdown,” published April 9, publicly justified terrorist activity.

The warning was issued June 24, but the watchdog only announced the decision on its web site Thursday. Two extremism warnings give the authorities the right to close a media outlet.

The warning was the first for Vedomosti, whose parent company, Independent Media Sanoma Magazines, also owns The Moscow Times.

Vedomosti editor-in-chief Tatyana Lysova said the newspaper would appeal. "We disagree with the results of the expert conclusion," she said in an interview.

The watchdog did not elaborate on the accusations and did not name the experts who it said had analyzed the article for extremist content.

The article, removed from Vedomosti's site but available elsewhere online Thursday, discusses what could have motivated the female suicide bombers who blew themselves up in the Moscow metro on March 29, killing 40 people.

The article's 40-year-old author is a graduate of Moscow State University and UCLA, a columnist for Vedomosti and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Bunin Prize in 2006 and the Russian Student Booker in 2007.

She could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

A phone call to the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service went unanswered after office hours.

This is the second time that Vedomosti has been accused of promoting terrorism in connection with the March bombings. State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov on April 2 accused the newspaper and Moskovsky Komsomolets of siding with Chechen rebels in articles about the attack.

Gryzlov's allegations were not related to Kucherskaya's article.

Vedomosti sued Gryzlov for defamation, but a Moscow court dismissed the lawsuit in May.