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Moscow inspectors frighten eXile investors

MOSCOW, June 16 (UPI) -- A visit from regulators in Moscow prompted a quick withdrawal of funds for the alternative biweekly The eXile, which will soon shut down, its editors said.

The English-language online newspaper is notorious for its write-ups of Moscow's underworld scene -- including stories of drugs and prostitution -- mixed with political columns, the Moscow Times reported Monday.

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News that four inspectors from Russia's Federal Service for Mass Media, Telecommunications and the Protection of Cultural Heritage visited The eXile's offices a week ago, caused panic among funding sources, however, an editor said.

"News of their visit had our investors fleeing instantly," co-editor Yasha Levine told the Times.

"The paper is dead, unless a miracle happens," said Mark Ames, The eXile's founder.

The inspectors said they received a complaint that The eXile "mocks and humiliates Russian traditions," Ames told the Times.

A letter to The eXile says the inspectors will announce an initial decision on the case on Wednesday.

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