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The last week was a painful one for free speech in Russia.
Tens of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Moscow bureau journalists were fired within two days. First an entire internet department, then radio hosts, reporters and producers — around 90 per cent of RFE/RL’s Moscow staff became jobless.
A further 5 per cent quit in protest, including me.
RFE/RL broadcasts on medium wave will end on 10 November, due to amendments to the law on mass media which state a radio cannot broadcast in a primary service area if more than 5 per cent of it is owned by foreign individual or legal entity. RFE/RL’s broadcasts in Russia will only be available online through its website, which makes the decision to fire web staff especially strange.