bill to require any media company registered in Russia to have majority Russian-national control passed its first hurdle in the Duma last week. The bill, which must pass two more votes in the Duma before going to the upper house and the president, appears to be a reaction to Ted Turner’s flirtation with NTV. The bill would lower the value of all media properties in Russia by reducing the number of possible buyers. It would also affect existing companies like Independent Media, publishers of the daily Moscow Times (in English), the daily Vedomosti (in Russian) and Russian editions of Playboy, Cosmopolitan and other magazines. The foreigners, mainly Dutch, who now control Independent Media would have to sell off their controlling stake to Russian investors. The firm’s director, a Russian, says the bill “violates the rights of owners… limits freedom of speech in Russia and violates the constitution.”