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November 21, 2014

State funds pulled from Russian film festival over director’s ‘anti-state’ views

Vitaly Mansky

In a surprising admission, Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky announced this week that the reason behind the ministry's decision to refuse state funding to Artdocfest — Russia's largest international documentary film festival — was a result of festival director Vitaly Mansky's political opinions. 

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November 20, 2014

Ekho Moskvy’s future safe as board vote cancelled

Alexei Venediktov

The state-controlled owner of Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy, Gazprom-Media, has cancelled a vote scheduled for tomorrow which threatened to remove the media organisation’s editor-in-chief, Alexei Venediktov, and change the direction of the station's news coverage. The media giant also rescinded its order to have Ekho Moskvy's longstanding host Alexander Plyushchev fired, a decision which ignited conflict between Venediktov and Gazprom-Media and inspired the latter to call for a vote over the station's future. 

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November 19, 2014

Izvestia to pay rock musician Makarevich compensation for defamation

A Moscow court has ordered pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia and journalist Alexander Prokhanov to pay rock musician Andrei Makarevich 500,000 roubles ($10,650) — half of the sum the guitarist sought in damages — following the publication of a defamatory article on 17 August.

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November 18, 2014

Founder of teen LGBT charity Children 404 charged with “promoting gay propaganda”

Elena Klimova

Elena Klimova, the founder of LGBT charity Children 404, has been charged with breaking the "gay propaganda" law by Russia's media watchdog Roskomnadzor. 

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November 12, 2014

Shackling culture: uncertain times ahead for Moscow’s Museum of Cinema

Film director Sergei Eisenstein

The recent mass resignation of the staff of Moscow's Museum of Cinema sent shockwaves across the international film community. In a damning open letter, the museum staff slammed the institution's new director, Larisa Solonitsyna, who was appointed by the Ministry of Culture in July this year to replace Naum Kleiman, the museum’s longtime director and eminent film critic. Just days later, most of the team (excluding Kleiman) announced that they were to return to work in a surprising u-turn.

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November 11, 2014

Hermitage director: Our task is to protect culture

Photograph: Ilya under a CC licence

Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of St Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum, has urged for cultural links between the US and Russia to remain strong, despite the state of museum relations between both countries "worse today than during the Cold War".

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November 10, 2014

Durov’s clone Telegram HD app to be discontinued

Telegram HD, the clone of messaging app Telegram launched in July this year by Pavel Durov, is soon to disappear from app stores. Users of Telegram HD began receiving notifications yesterday that the app is no longer supported by its developers, prompting users to download the original app instead. Telegram will return to its original, single version of the app, according to a report from Vedomosti.

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November 10, 2014

RT threatened with sanctions from Ofcom over biased coverage of Ukraine crisis

Kremlin-backed news channel RT (formerly Russia Today) has been threatened with statutory sanctions by UK media regulator Ofcom after being accused of breaching broadcasting regulations for its biased coverage of the Ukraine crisis. 

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November 07, 2014

Museum of Cinema staff to return to work in surprising resignation U-turn

The staff at the Museum of Cinema who collectively resigned from their posts last week will return to work in a surprising u-turn. All those who resigned last week, excluding former museum director and eminent film critic Naum Kleiman, have rescinded their resignations.

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November 07, 2014

This week’s news; illustrated

Moscow metro opens virtual library of Russian classical literature

More than 100 canonical Russian books — including novels by Pushkin, Chekhov and Tolstoy — are now available for commuters to download for free on train platforms, where scanning a QR code with a smartphone or tablet will allow users to browse the library’s virtual shelves. The project is currently being advertised in only a few of the 195 metro stations in the Russian capital as part of a trial run. A similar project has already been tried on 700 buses, trams and trolleybuses in Moscow.

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