Editor Of Russian Forbes Magazine Fired, Vows To Sue

The editor in chief of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, Nikolai Uskov, has been fired.

The media group ACMG, which publishes the Russian Forbes, issued a statement saying Uskov was fired for unsatisfactory job performance and for violating a company rule against participating in "the events of other brands."

In a statement on Facebook, Uskov said he was fired for participating in a program on the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

Uskov also said that he was offered nearly $100,000 in severance compensation, but that he refused it so that he could speak publicly about his dismissal and contest it in court.

"I want to do everything I can to protect the magazine, its dignity, the work we have done, and the memory of Paul Klebnikov," he wrote, referring to the former Forbes editor who was shot dead in Moscow in 2004.

Uskov accused Forbes owner Aleksandr Fedotov of repeatedly interfering in the magazine's editorial affairs, including an incident in which Fedotov ordered the magazine not to publish information about the salary of the president of the state-controlled VTB financial group, Andrei Kostin.

Uskov was named editor in chief of Forbes in early 2016. Previously, he was the editor in chief of the Russian version of GQ magazine and the magazine Snob.

Longtime Forbes journalist Nikolai Mazurin was named acting editor in chief of Forbes.

He issued a statement on June 9 saying the magazine had always adhered to strict standards of independence and journalistic integrity.

"Forbes exists as long as its editorial board is independent of the authorities, the business community, newsmakers, advertisers, and from its owner," the statement said.

In 2015, the German publisher Axel Springer sold its stake in the Russian edition of Forbes after Russia adopted a law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media to 20 percent. Fedotov's ACMG became the magazine's publisher at that time.

With reporting by RBC and Interfax