Russian Authorities Try to Close Kirov Newspaper Over One Word

Authorities in Kirov are pressing to close a local independent publication, the Vyatskaya Osobaya Gazeta, after the paper published an article mentioning the banned National Bolshevik Party (NBP).  A member of the group is called a “nazbol.”

Nikolai Golikov, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, said local prosecutors started administrative proceedings against the publication after it printed an article describing how activists from the party were distributing leaflets protesting the Government’s anti-crisis measures.

The Prosecutor’s office said that since the National Bolshevik Party is officially banned, any information about it or its members in the press was a violation of the law.  Golikov said that the article never described the group as a party, but that prosecutors found fault with the word “nazbol” and the phrase “supporter of Eduard Limonov.”  Limonov leads the NBP.

If a court sides with prosecutors, every mention of the NPB in past issues may be deemed extremist.  The newspaper will then likely be issued several warnings, after which it may be closed.

Golikov said the paper was doing everything it could, including a linguistic examination and an appeal to Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh.  “We will use all possible methods,” he said.