Russian NGO sues state TV over espionage claims


A Russian environmental NGO targeted by Moscow’s foreign agent law and dogged by treason charges against its leader, is pushing a slander suit again a state broadcaster for saying it engaged in espionage, the non-profit’s former leader, Nadezhda Kutepova [left], told Bellona from Paris Wednesday.

Planet of Hopes, which sought redress for victims of radioactive contamination from Russia’s notorious Mayak Chemical Combine, and home to the Soviet A-bomb, was accused by Rossiya-1’s government controlled news personality Olga Skabeyeva of US-sponsored corporate espionage on two of the station’s programs, adds Charles Digges.

In both, the first of which aired on Rossiya-1’s flagship news program Vesti on May 27, and the second on June 1, during the news magazine Special Correspondent, Skabeyeva said Planet of Hopes “is engaged in corporate espionage on funding from NED [the US National Endowment for Democracy],” the RBK independent Russian newswire quoted court documents as saying….Planet of Hopes is demanding an on air retraction during both programs on which Skabeyava leveled her accusations, and renowned human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov is seeking reimbursement of court expenses for his legal advocacy group, Team 29.


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