Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ura.Ru fires chief editor

Aksana Panova, the former director and chief editor of Ural-region news agency Ura.Ru, was fired this week by the agency's board of directors.

Leaving the Yekaterinburg-headquartered news agency with Panova is her staff of 30 who are moving on to start a new project. The news staff has not officially incorporated and the project's future is unclear, The News International reports.

Panova said that the board's decision to terminate her is associated with increasing pressure from the Sverdlovsk regional government to change the publication's editorial policy. The former editor, noted for being unusually critical of local authorities, faces several allegations from regional investigators.

In late September, police raided Ura.Ru's offices as part of an ongoing investigation into a theft from the news agency's account. Since the raid, Panova has been accused of blackmailing critics of the news agency.

Panova said that "there are four criminal probes against me, and six more in production. I go in for questioning on a nearly daily basis", according to The News International.