Barabanov’s New Times, with 50,000 readers, in turn, is privately financed and published by Irina Lesnevsky, who made her fortune as co-founder of REN TV, one of Russia’s last truly independent television stations.
In 2005, though, Lesnevsky and her son (a film producer) sold their 30 percent holding, and the station has since been auctioned off to allies of the Kremlin in what many view as a gentle takeover.
Based on anonymous sources within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the articles portrayed an elaborate money-laundering scheme that included some of Russia’s top banks, high-level officials, and the Austrian Raiffeisen Zentralbank.
She also alleged that the 2006 contract killing of Andrei Kozlov, head of Russia’s central bank, was tied to his ongoing investigation of the very same activities—an assertion that the Austrian Interior Ministry later said could not be ruled out. Morar said that after it was published she received a warning from sources close to the FSB, Russia’s security and counterintelligence service, who told her, “There is no need to end your life with an article—someone might simply wait for you at the entrance to your apartment building, and they will not find a killer afterward.” This was a good summation of what has happened to several investigative reporters in Russia, including Dmitry Kholodov in 1994, Paul Klebnikov ten years later, and Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.
In a last bid to attain citizenship and return to Russia, Morar married Barabanov in Moldova and the couple flew to Moscow together in February 2008.
They were detained for three days at Domodedovo airport, until Morar was again sent back to Moldova, where she still lives.
“In all honesty, I don’t know and won’t try to predict when Natalia will return to Russia,” Barabanov wrote.
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“They’re each so busy with work, however attempt to be collectively once they can,” the supply provides.
(Roughly 25 percent of the population used the Web as of 2007, close to 60 percent of Muscovites.) Financial reporting has also flourished lately.
And stories that in the past would appear only in opposition newspapers—often on social issues such as hazing and abuse in the military, Russia’s crumbling health care system, and even reports from Chechnya and the North Caucasus—are not uncommon in Russia’s relatively new glossy magazines.
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