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Russia Labels Two More Media Entities 'Foreign Agents'

Russia's Justice Ministry announced on October 15 that it had added two other media organizations to its list of "foreign agents." (file photo)

The Russian authorities have designated the legal entities of two media outlets – the Rosbalt news agency and the website -- as "foreign agents" amid an intensifying crackdown on the media and civil society across the country.

The Justice Ministry's website showed on October 15 it had added RS-Balt and Moscow Digital Media to its list of "foreign agents," bringing the number of individuals and entities on the register to 88.

The government uses the designation to label what it says are foreign-funded organizations that are engaged in political activity, as well as people linked to them.

The “foreign agents” laws require those designated to register with authorities and label their content with an intrusive disclaimer, with criminal fines for not doing so.

That has led to several media organizations shutting down as they lose revenues from spooked advertisers.

The designation also restricts other media from citing a “foreign agent” organization without including a disclaimer.

On October 14, the human rights organization Yakutia - Our Opinion became the 86th entity or individual to be included in the register of "foreign agents."