Days after editor Dmitry Muratov led the funeral of Mikhail Gorbachev – who had been a patron of the paper – Russian independent Novaya Gazeta has been stripped of its print media licence.
Gorbachev had used some of his Nobel peace prize money to help set up the paper in 1993.
The ruling also comes less than year after Muratov himself was awarded the prestigious peace prize at the same time as Philippines journalist Maria Ressa.
The move effectively bans Novaya Gazeta from operating inside Russia, and is likely to be followed by a similar move against its website next week. The Roskomnadzor media regulator claimed the publisher had failed to provide documents related to a change of ownership in 2006.
Outside court, Muratov described the ruling as “a political hit job, without the slightest legal basis” and announced an appeal.