MOSCOW — Russian authorities designated an investigative media outlet and several journalists as “foreign agents” Friday, raising pressure on the country’s independent media ahead of a September parliamentary election.
The Justice Ministry said it added the online news site The Insider and five journalists to the list of foreign agents, a label that envisages additional government scrutiny and carries a strong pejorative connotation.
The Insider, which is registered in Latvia, has published investigations of alleged corruption and abuses by Russian officials, purported Russian covert action in Ukraine and Syria, and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Commenting on the Russian Justice Ministry’s decision, the site said it would continue working as usual, operating in conformity with Latvian law.
The Justice Ministry acted under a law that is used to designate as foreign agents nongovernmental organizations and individuals who receive foreign funding and engage in activities loosely described as political.