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Longtime Novaya Gazeta Chief Editor To Step Down

Dmitry Muratov was one of a group of journalists who founded the newspaper in 1993.

The longtime editor of Russia's respected Novaya Gazeta newspaper will step down from his post this week.

Dmitry Muratov, 56, told the RBK news agency on November 13 that he was not seeking another term as the paper's editor in chief, a post he has held for 22 years. The paper's editorial staff will elect a new leader at a meeting on November 17.

Muratov said the newspaper will form a new oversight organ called the Editorial Council that will be responsible for all "strategic matters." An unidentified source at the newspaper told RBK that Muratov would participate in that council.

Muratov was one of a group of journalists who founded the newspaper in 1993, shortly after leaving the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev donated part of his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize money to the paper.

Under Muratov's leadership, Novaya Gazeta, which is published three times a week, has emerged as one of the leading independent media outlets in Russia. It has earned plaudits for its reporting on corruption and human rights violations.

Its current circulation is about 190,000 copies.

Six Novaya Gazeta journalists -- including Yury Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, and Anastasia Baburova -- have been killed since 2001 because of their journalistic work.

Muratov won the International Press Freedom Award, presented by the Committee to Protect Journalists, in 2007. In 2010, he was awarded France's Legion of Honor.