Agentura. Ru (Russian: Агентура.Ру) is a Russian web-site founded in 2000 as internet-community of journalists who cover terrorism, and Intelligence agencies. Since 2000 by 2006 the web-site was supported by ISP Relcom, since 2006 Agentura.Ru is a voluntary project.
A respected source
Agentura. Ru has been quoted by The New York Times, the Moscow Times, the Washington Post, Online Journalism Review, Le Monde, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN, Federation of American Scientists, the BBC and the websites of The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Center for Defence Information, The Library of Congress, Cambridge Security Programme. The New York Times dubbed Agentura.Ru 'a website that came in from the cold to unveil Russian secrets'.
"While some Russian newspapers like the Moscow-based twice-weekly Novaya Gazeta have developed a strong tradition of exposing government abuses and continue to do so, others have been dissuaded after seeing colleagues murdered, beaten, prosecuted, and fined. Journalists who have opted for publishing on the Internet - like Andrei Soldatov, who runs the Web site Agentura.ru and specializes in writing about Russia's powerful security services-have been detained and questioned by security forces angered by articles about their activities".
In September 2005 Agentura. Ru Studies and Research Centre / ASRC /, research department of Agentura. Ru project, published the research paper “Terrorism prevention in Russia: one year after Beslan” (English). A short version of it appeared in the Royal United Services Institute/Jane's Homeland Security and Resilience Monitor. On June 2006 Agentura.Ru Studies and Research Centre prepared the report "The role of Al-Qaeda in the North Caucasus"], first published in Novaya Gazeta.
"Agentura.ru has developed into an information and analytical hub, updated on a daily basis and covering developments related to security services in Russia and the former Soviet Union and terrorist groups worldwide. It also publishes articles on the history and practices of foreign security agencies and issues like media and legislative oversight of security services".
Ceasing of cooperation with Novaya Gazeta
On November 12, 2008, Andrei Soldatov’s employer Novaya Gazeta fired him and Agentura.ru colleague Irina Borogan. In a press release, Soldatov and Borogan said that Novaya Gazeta had ceased its collaboration with Agentura.ru without explanation. ‘They even removed our banner from their website,’ said Soldatov, noted by Maria Eismont in Index on Censorship on November 27. The paper’s editors had not met with them; all information came from the personnel department.
As a result of this action, the statement continued, “’Novaya gazeta,’ one of the few independent publications in the country in fact is ceasing to cover the special services and publish investigations [on them and] ‘both the suddenness and the form in which the separation happened gives reason to suppose that it was taken not for purely economic reasons”. reads the statement on Agentura.ru, encouraging readers to guess which of the recently published stories could be the real reason. One of Agentura’s last articles for Novaya Gazeta focused on the former FSB officer Pavel Ryaguzov, accused of murdering Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.
Novaya Gazeta’s deputy editor-in-chief Sergei Sokolov denied to Index on Censorship any politics behind the firing. ‘Job cuts, including some of the star writers, are a result of the investors’ decision to cut the funding of the paper. This has nothing to do with professional performance.’ Sokolov added that the job cuts ‘will certainly affect the paper, but not catastrophically’. He said that the newspaper would continue to monitor the secret services, ‘like we always did, even before collaborating with Agentura’. Sokolov added that the coverage of Politkovskaya’s murder case, which he was overseeing himself, would be unaffected.
Roman Shleinov, head of the investigations unit at Novaya Gazeta, told Index on Censorship] the paper would continue to do investigations, although there would be less specialisation and journalists would have to write on a wider range of issues. ‘Maybe the job cuts will push the remaining staff to work harder,’ he said. But, in general, Shleinov was pessimistic: ‘It seems that things will get worse.’
- A Web Site That Came in From the Cold to Unveil Russian Secrets , The New York Times, December 14, 2000.
- Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Report: "Attacks on the Press 2003: Europe and Central Asia Analysis".
- “Terrorism prevention in Russia: one year after Beslan”, Agentura. Ru Studies and Research Centre, September 2005
- "The role of Al-Qaeda in the North Caucasus", Agentura.Ru, September 13, 2010
- Article about Soldatov: "Journalist Enjoying A Security Monopoly"
- Rouble trouble hits Russian Media, 27 November 2008
- Rouble trouble hits Russian Media, Novaya gazeta, 27 November 2008
- Rouble trouble hits Russian Media, 27 November 2008.
- In Russia, A Secretive Force Widens, Washington Post, By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service, Tuesday, December 12, 2006.
- Russian government sets sights on 'subversion', The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2005.
- Watching the watchers in Russia, Federation of American Scientists, December 14, 2000.
- Murky World of Spies Gets Portal, The Moscow Times, September. 14, 2000.
- FSB Reform: Changes Are Few and Far between, by Andrei Soldatov, Agentura.Ru.
- (Russian) Official website
- (English) Official website
- (Russian) Agentura.Ru Studies and Research Centre / ASRC / website
- (English) Agentura.Ru Studies and Research Centre / ASRC / website
- (English) Agentura on Facebook