The Kremlin has barred the independent Dozhd broadcaster from the presidential press pool over its coverage of protests in support of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the independent Meduza news website.
Dozhd’s Kremlin pool reporter has been unable to attend Peskov’s press briefings since May 13, Meduza reported, and will be unable to travel with the pool to President Vladimir Putin’s summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva.
“A few weeks ago we were informed that our correspondent can no longer work in the pool,” Dozhd chief editor Tikhon Dzyadko told Meduza on Sunday.
Peskov confirmed to Meduza that Dozhd’s correspondent was barred over its Navalny protest coverage.
“Yes, unfortunately this is connected. The channel supported illegal actions in those days,” Peskov told Meduza, referring to the fact that the protests hadn’t received the required approval in advance from the authorities.
Reporters from both state-run and independent news outlets comprise the Kremlin pool that follows Putin and reports on his everyday work.
Navalny was detained upon arrival in Moscow after recovering from a near-fatal nerve agent poisoning in Germany that he blames on the Kremlin, a charge Moscow denies.
Tens of thousands across over 100 Russian cities took to the streets on two successive weekends to call for his release. Over 11,000 protesters were detained at the unsanctioned rallies, with widespread reports of police brutality against peaceful protesters.
Following the protests, Russian police briefly detained a number of journalists from leading independent news outlets on suspicion of participating in the unauthorized demonstrations despite the journalists having press accreditation and editorial assignment letters.