Novaya Gazeta has elected Sergey Sokolov to be its new editor-in-chief, following a staff vote to decide who should take on the role, the newspaper’s social media announced on Thursday.
Sokolov, previously the outlet’s deputy editor-in-chief, was the sole candidate to stand and received 79 votes out of a possible 84. He will be editor-in-chief for the next two years.
Veteran Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov did not put himself forward for the role, though he will remain the newspaper’s publisher.
In September, Muratov announced that he would step down as editor-in-chief for the duration of his legal bid challenging his inclusion on a Russian government register of so-called “foreign agents”.
The authorities contended that Muratov, who was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to preserve freedom of expression”, had “used foreign platforms to disseminate opinions aimed at forming a negative attitude toward Russia’s foreign and domestic policy.”
Novaya Gazeta stopped updating its website and printing new editions in March last year due to the censorship Russia introduced following the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Much of Novaya Gazeta’s staff subsequently left Russia and established Novaya Gazeta Europe in Latvia.
The newspaper’s remaining staff in Russia began updating the Novaya Gazeta website shortly afterwards, prompting the country’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor to rescind Novaya Gazeta’s media licence and block access to its website in Russia.