A rally in support of media freedom was staged in central Moscow on April 13. The speakers at the rally, which drew some 4,000 people, were not politicians but various cultural figures, including writer Dmitry Bykov, famous actors Liya Akhedzhakova, Alexander Filippenko, and Alexei Devotchenko, and musician Alexei Kortnev.
Many of the speakers repeatedly said that media in Russia had become a propaganda tool, comparing it to German propaganda during WWII. Having listed all the heads and stars of the national TV channels, the organizers then presented a mock award called “Makhroviy Tipun” (the meaning of which translates as something like “Curse that tongue of yours”) for achievements in distorting information, fabricating facts and dumbing down the population. The awards were given to TV journalists Vladimir Soloviev and Arkady Mamontov, news presenters Yekaterina Andreyeva and Dmitry Kiselyov, and the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko.
Closer to the end, Anton Nosik, blogger and founder of the Lenta.ru news website, which had recently been subjected to a considerable change of format and lost most of its editorial staff, promised that by early fall a new project would be launched to replace Lenta.ru.
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