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Authorities in Novosibirsk ban march to press for changing Siberia's status in Russia

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 August 2014

Calls for 'federalisation' are a threat to country's 'constitutional order, territorial integrity and sovereignty'.

Novosibirsk artist Artyom Loskutov. Picture: nsk.sibnovosti.ru

Media reports on the march orgnaisers' demands also face legal sanctions from Russia's communications and media watchdog Roskomnadzor, with a threat to close the BBC's Russian service website after it ran an interview with artist Artyom Loskutov over his call for a new system for governing Siberia.

It is believed the authorities in Novosibirsk - Siberia's largest city - see the march originally timed for 17 August as flouting Russian laws and it is being banned 'to ensure the stability of the constitutional order, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian Federation'.

Organisers may seek to appeal the ban or reapply for a new march.

Roskomnadzor has acted swiftly against media carrying Loskutov's comments, in particular targeting the BBC's Russian-language website.

'We can fully block the BBC Russian service website on the territory of our country. In fact, not only we can, but we are obliged to, because the Prosecutor General's Office has assigned Roskomnadzor to block the access to the sites and resources, publishing information of that kind,' a source told the newspaper.

Other media carrying the call have removed it following warnings from Roskomnadzor. 

The BBC is accused of refusing to take down the report though it flouts Russian laws. 

The artist's call for a federal Siberia is seen as illegal, amounting to 'distributing information on preparations for an unsanctioned public gathering under slogans threatening the territorial integrity of the country'.

News agency AFP reported that the acting head of BBC's Russia service, Artem Liss, said on his blog that in response to a Roskomnadzor request to remove the material considered 'extremist', they had added an introduction to the interview providing more information about Loskutov, including a suggestion on his blog that the rally was half in jest.

Earlier Roskomnadzor issued warnings to 14 media outlets after they published an interview containing an appeal to take part in a mass demonstration for a federal Siberia. These included websites Polit.ru, Regnum, Novyy Region, Rosbalt, and Slon.ru.

Roskomnadzor's deputy head Maxim Ksyondzov confirmed to Izvestia that the Russian service of the BBC has been warned, but did not elaborate, reported Interfax.

The agency said it had 'repeatedly sent' notices to the BBC Russian Service and accused its website of purposely ignoring state orders.

'If the editorial staff of the BBC Russian Service, unlike most other Russian media, continues assuming an unconstructive stance, Roskomnadzor will have no alternative... but to block the BBC Russian Service website', said one source.

Siberia - called by some the largest region in the world covering many time zones - is run not as a single entity but with many regional governments.

Analysts say there is no popular demand for a change to the current structure. 

Comments (6)

Don't do this to your country, I agree sound's like CIA work to me. American not your answer. Stockbroker your way's
Peter Goile, Queensland, Australia
18/08/2014 16:59
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That's good. This guy went to far. No one even thinks about this, why the f then he wants to organize this protest? Because he's the only one who wants this for Siberia? LOL
Tim, Novosibirsk
14/08/2014 01:43
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This guy is C.I.A asset, being sponsored by NGOs, dont let USA ruin and break your Russia apart(they have destroyed my country Syria by sponsoring financially and military foreign Takfiri Islamic terrorist, who are carrying out out genocide against civillians-including Christians ), USA-only bring death-debt and destruction. People in Washington are evil and stupid-dont let Americans destroy your country-like they destroyed my country Syria.
Mohammed, Damascus
11/08/2014 04:09
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Novosibirsk or Ekaterinburg will be the next capital from the Russian Federation, but creating the necessary infraestructure takes time.
Enrique, Spain
09/08/2014 11:27
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Russia has the official name -Russian FEDERATION. Stop your lies. Ukies will gonna get home
Vladimir Fyodoroff, Russia
06/08/2014 16:55
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Russia has the official name -Russian FEDERATION. Stop your lies. Ukies will gonna get home
Vladimir Fyodoroff, Russia
06/08/2014 16:53
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2
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