19.05.2022

Forbes Russia Editor Resigns Over Deleted Article

The website editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine has resigned after his publication deleted an article about the daughter of a state development corporation head receiving student financial aid despite not qualifying for it.

Forbes reported earlier this week that Anastasia Shuvalova, the daughter of VEB.RF chairman Igor Shuvalov, was accepted into Moscow State University’s allotted free education spots despite scoring significantly lower than other accepted students. MSU later explained that her name appeared on the list as a mistake.

“The company’s management decided to delete the publication,” Forbes Russia website editor Vladimir Motorin said in a statement Thursday.

“I understand this decision, but think that what follows afterward isn’t journalism but something else, and that’s why I’m leaving,” Motorin wrote on his Facebook.

An article that replaced the original story on Wednesday reported that Shuvalova was accepted at MSU as a paying student.

VEB.RF has sent out requests to a number of Russian media organizations to take down the articles on Shuvalov’s daughter.

It appears that Forbes Russia was the only publication to comply with the request.

Forbes Russia is one of several independent publications in Russia to face censorship scandals in recent years. In 2018, the magazine’s then-editor was fired and the editorial team was locked out of the website after posting an article about a jailed Russian billionaire that had been mysteriously removed from the print issue.

Russia Expels Austrian Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Over Espionage Dispute

Russia has moved swiftly to expel an Austrian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move following the expulsion of its own diplomat from Vienna on accusations of industrial espionage.

Austria gave the unnamed Russian diplomat until Sept. 1 to leave the country, according to Austrian media, for allegedly engaging in economic espionage in a high-tech company for years. An Austrian citizen who reportedly helped him had allegedly identified the Russian diplomat as his senior officer.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned Austria’s Ambassador to Moscow Johannes Aigner to “strongly protest the unjustified decision to revoke the Russian diplomat’s accreditation and demand that he leave Austria,” it said Monday.

“Guided by the principle of reciprocity, the diplomat of the Embassy of the Republic of Austria in Russia was declared ‘persona non grata’,” it said in a statement.

Russian lawmakers were quick to condemn Austria’s move on Monday and the Russian Embassy in Vienna said it had expected Moscow to expel an Austrian diplomat in retaliation.

Austria is at least the third European country, after Norway and Slovakia, to expel Russian diplomats this month over either spying or other crimes. Over the summer, Austria has jailed its retired army colonel for spying for Russia and a Chechen dissident described as Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s “personal foe” was murdered in Vienna.

Austria, under conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, has positioned itself as one of Russia’s closest allies in the European Union.

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