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Kremlin pressure forces Prokhorov journalists out


Mikhail Prokhorov's career as a crusading publisher is apparently over.

On Friday, three editors of RBC, Prokhorov's media site, resigned their jobs --and much of the rest of staff was expected to do so next week, the result of increasing pressure from Kremlin leaders that included raids on both RBC and ONEXIM, Prokhorov's holding company in the last month

The Times reports...

The departure of the three editors from the RBC newspaper and news service was widely viewed as the death knell for one of Russia’s last independent papers — and the latest ambush in the extended campaign by the Putin administration to exert control over all news reporting.

RBC had been aggressive on reporting on corruption in the Kremlin, taking on President Vladimir Putin and his family, for example, identifying lucrative concessions given Putin's daughter (who is never identified in the Russian media) and her husband. RBC had also reported on which Putin cronies had shown up in the "Panama Papers," the purloined records of Panama law firm that had been used to set up straw companies mostly to avoid taxes and scrutiny.

As Russian media has reported, state media boss and television anchor Dmitry Kiselyov last month held up a copy of RBC's newspaper and accused Prokhorov's company of helping the United States with its deep coverage of the Panama Papers. Prokhorov, the most high profile Russian businessman operating in the U.S., is frequently the subject of anti-Americanism. The raids --and investigations-- followed Kiselyov's rant.

Did the resignations signal an end to Prokhorov's problems with the Kremlin?  Hours after the resignations, Prokhorov was pictured courtside at the Euroleague Final Four with Sergey Ivanov, the former KGB general who's Putin's chief of staff and the subject of U.S. sanctions.