The long-serving editor-in-chief of Russia’s Novaya Gazeta, which is highly critical of the Kremlin, has said he is leaving after 22 years in the job.
Dmitry Muratov said in an article on Novaya Gazeta’s website earlier this week that he would not stand in the newspaper’s upcoming biennial election of its editor-in-chief.
“I took my decision independently and more than a year in advance after having sought advice from, and explained my decision to, friends, partners, shareholders and doctors,” Muratov wrote.
The crusading Novaya Gazeta was set-up in 1993 and regularly produces articles that are highly critical of the Russian authorities. Several of its journalists, including prominent reporter Anna Politkovskaya, have been killed in murders linked to their work. In September, Novaya Gazeta columnist Yulia Latynina said she had left Russia because of concerns for her personal safety.
Muratov said that he is not leaving Novaya Gazeta, and will head up a new editorial committee that will make strategic decisions about the newspaper’s future. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is one of the members of the board of Novaya Gazeta's holding company.
Novaya Gazeta is published three times a week and some of its most controversial recent stories have included articles detailing the widespread persecution of gay men in Russia’s mainly Muslim republic of Chechnya.
There are three candidates from within the newspaper standing in the elections to replace Muratov, which are due to be held on Friday.