Russian state media watchdog tells BBC to remove online interview with Siberian artist and activist

Russia's state media watchdog has asked BBC Russian to remove an online interview with a Siberian artist and activist, the corporation has said.

The interview with Artem Loskutov, on bbcrussian.com, was first broadcast on 31 July as part of BBSeva, a current affairs programme with a focus on arts and culture.

Loskutov talked about a planned "march for the federalisation of Sibera" in Novosibirsk.

The online story also provided background information on the artist and a quote in which is said that he viewed the march as "part parody, part provocation, but also, partly, a real attempt to gain autonomy”. He added that, as a Siberian, he wants to raise questions about the future of the area.

After receiving the take-down request from watchdog Roskomnadzor, a BBC spokesperson said: “We have no plans to remove this interview from our website.  

"Mr Loskutov is an artist and activist known for organising events which are, at first sight, parodies of political activity, but which also bring out serious issues about life in Russia. Mr Loskutov’s views represent his personal position. 

"The BBC aims to present all sides of a story in an impartial, unbiased way, and we have also requested an interview with a Russian government official to explain their position on the planned march. 

"Our editorial decisions are guided by the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines and the story in question is in full compliance with the requirements set out by this document.” 

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