Purge in the Provinces

The recent takeover of Moscow's privately-owned NTV television network, the closure of the daily Segodnya and the mass firing at the weekly Itogi were only three battles in the Kremlin's new war on independent news outlets. Less conspicuously, regional power brokers from Pskov in the west to Vladivostok in the east are taking a cue from Moscow and cracking down on local TV, radio and newspapers in what is becoming a nationwide crisis for freedom of information in Russia.

Take the case of Elvira Mezhennaya, the 52-year-old chief editor of the City Channel, a TV station in...

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