Vladimir Putin Tightens State Media Control, Appoints Homophobe to Run Restructured Agency


President Vladimir Putin is dissolving the state-run news agency RIA Novosti in a reorganization, that agency reports:

PutinNews agency RIA Novosti and the state-owned Voice of Russia radio will be scrapped and absorbed into a new media conglomerate called Rossiya Segodnya, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin. The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector.

In a separate decree published Monday, the Kremlin appointed Dmitry Kiselyov, a prominent Russian television presenter and media manager recently embroiled in a scandal over anti-gay remarks, to head Rossiya Segodnya.

You may recall that Kiselyov, Deputy General Director of the Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, made remarks dehumanizing gays on a broadcast by the state-owned network Rossiya 1 in August.

Said Kiselyov, who received applause for his remarks:

"I think that just imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda among teenagers is not enough. They should be banned from donating blood, sperm. And their hearts, in case of the automobile accident, should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuitable for the continuation of life."

Putin's decree transferred all property of RIA Novosti to Russia Today (RT), effective immediately.