In the latest example of the Russian authorities' widening censorship campaign ahead of State Duma elections, the country's Internet regulator has ordered the shutdown of an independent website aimed at helping voters learn about candidates.
The site, Duma.vote, is backed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the exiled oil tycoon who in recent years has stepped up his criticism of the Kremlin by funding and supporting opposition activists and independent media outlets.
At first glance, the website is devoid of any overt political messaging, or endorsements of candidates or blatant anti-Kremlin signals. "We are not encouraging you to vote in one way or another," the site says. "We provide information so that you can make an informed choice."