Independent Russian paper is shut down by court

STORY: A Russian court has stripped one of the country's last independent news outlets of its media license - effectively banning it from operating there - over accusations that it failed to provide documents relating to a change of ownership in 2006.

The Novaya Gazeta newspaper was one of Russia's leading investigative news sources and was founded almost three decades ago using the Nobel Peace Prize money won by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who died last week.

The paper's editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was a friend of Gorbachev and led his funeral procession on Saturday.

This was Muratov outside the court:

"The decision is a political hit job that has no legal basis whatsoever. We were in court for allegedly not handing over some documents 20 years ago when, in reality, it is absolutely obvious to everyone what's behind this."

Novaya Gazeta had already suspended operations in Russia in March after it was warned that it had violated strict censorship laws on coverage of the war in Ukraine.

And later, in June, Muratov sold his Nobel Prize in a charity auction for Ukrainian children for over $103 million.

Novaya Gazeta has a spin-off online publication elsewhere in Europe, which has also been blocked by Russian authorities.

Muratov says the newspaper will appeal the court decision, although he expects the same result.