As the International Herald Tribune article linked above points out, virtually of Putin's prominent political opponents are banned from making statements on TV by the "stop list" – including former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, leader of the main liberal democratic opposition party. Since he became President in 2000, Putin's regime has taken control of every major TV station in Russia, all of which are now either owned by the government or have been forcibly transferred to private owners who are Putin allies. So the regime can impose its "stop list" across the board.
The underlying article is chilling:
Political humor in general has been exiled from television here. One of the nation's most popular satirists, Viktor Shenderovich, once had a show that featured puppet caricatures of various politicians, including Putin. It was canceled in Putin's first term and Shenderovich has been all but barred from television.
Senior government officials deny the existence of a stop list, saying that people hostile to the Kremlin do not appear on television simply because their views are not newsworthy.
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