Russian President Vladimir Putin has secretly showered awards and medals on more than 300 media workers for their "objective" coverage of events in Crimea, Radio Liberty reports.
"Vedomosti," one of the few relatively independent newspapers left in Russia, broke the news in a May 5 report.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the decision to "The Moscow Times," adding, however, that the Kremlin did "not plan to add any details about it."
Quoting a source familiar with the document, "Vedomosti" said the journalists were honored for their "high-level professionalism" and "objective coverage of events in Crimea".
As the newspaper noted, the decree does not appear on the list of decisions published on the presidential website, as document is "not accessible to the public."
According to "Vedomosti," accolades went to about 100 employees from the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, dozens from the NTV, RT, and Life News television channels, and more than 60 from state-run Channel One.