Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced plans to close Russia's largest government-owned news agency and replace it with a new organisation headed with a controversial anti-Western talk show host at the helm.
In a surprise decree published on the Kremlin's website yesterday, Putin "liquidated" the RIA Novosti news agency and created a new organisation called Russia Today -- not to be confused with English language station Russia Today (RT).
"The main focus of the International News Agency Russia Today is to inform abroad about the state policy of the Russian Federation," the decree said.
However, RIA Novosti, warned of "a tightening of state control" over the media.
Meanwhile, Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party office in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day.
Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps. (©Daily Telegraph, London)