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With no notice, Putin scraps Kremlin news agencies

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MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin dissolved one of Russia’s official news agencies, RIA Novosti, along with its international radio broadcaster Monday, signaling a significant reorganization in state media at a time when Russia has faced international criticism over political oppression and human rights.

The two agencies will be absorbed into a new state organization known as Rossiya Sevodnya, or Russia Today, to be led by a television executive and host, Dmitry K. Kiselyov, who has provoked controversy with starkly homophobic remarks and virulent commentary about foreign conspiracies against Russia.

RIA Novosti’s report on its own demise said the changes “appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector.”

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