More than 100,000 glossy magazines consigned to the shredder, an editor who says he had no other choice but to resign "in disgust", and one of the publishing world's most famous names scrambling to protect its reputation. And all to appease Russia's richest woman.
As media scandals go, the latest brouhaha to hit the Russian edition of Forbes, the capitalist's bible, has it all and if the world needed a reminder that the issue of press freedom in Russia remains a minefield they just got one. Forbes Russia is no stranger to trouble - its first editor, US-born Paul Klebnikov, was shot dead in Moscow in 2004 after publishing what was Russia's first and most authoritative rich list.
Nobody has been convicted of his murder, despite a lengthy trial and the real reason why he was killed remains a mystery. But now the Russian arm of Forbes finds itself in a very different kind of trouble; it is fighting to protect its journalistic credibility against allegations that it has given in to a peculiarly Russian kind of censorship. The magazine has become embroiled in a damaging row with the billionaire construction magnate Elena Baturina, Russia's wealthiest woman, and a lady who also happens to be the wife of Moscow's powerful and controversial mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
Ms Baturina, 43, is famously litigious and, like many of Russia's super-rich, doesn't appreciate having details of her fabulous wealth pored over in public. What she famously dislikes even more are any suggestions that she has built her multibillion-pound property empire on the patronage of her husband, mayor of Moscow for the past 14 years.
Worth an estimated $2.4bn ([pound]1.2bn) and rated as Russia's 29- th wealthiest individual, the blonde oligarchess has acquired and developed some of the capital's best real-estate sites at a time when her husband has overseen a building boom that has given Moscow its most radical makeover since Stalin took a wrecking ball to it in the 1930s.
Whether her remarkable success is linked to the fact that her husband is the man who decides which construction companies get to develop the city's most lucrative patches of land or not has long been a topic of speculation in Muscovite social circles.However, Ms Baturina, who started off her business making plastic chairs and buckets in 1991, has always insisted that her success owes nothing to her husband, a man who harbours presidential ambitions.
She is well known for her readiness to defend that stance. So when Forbes Russia decided to do a cover story on her, they must have known they would have to tread carefully. They put together a magazine cover showing a smil-ing, pinstripe-suited Baturina with the caption: "I have been guaranteed protection," an apparent reference to the fact that her business interests will be safe once her husband, her assumed protector, stands down as mayor at the end of next year.
Inside, over seven pages, the magazine relates how she cleverly restructured Inteco, her monolithic construction firm, and how her investment portfolio would be unaffected when her husband, Mr Luzhkov, stands down. It told readers how she had made her fortune, published details of her assets, and speculated how much money she stands to make in rental income from property she owns in Moscow and elsewhere.
But as far as Baturina was concerned, Forbes went too far, way too far. It wasn't long before Axel Springer, the German company that publishes the magazine under licence in Russia, received a visit from one of her senior executives who had somehow seen an advance copy. In his hand was an injunction seeking to seize and freeze all copies of the offending periodical and to prevent any publication of their contents on the internet.
Baturina took particular exception to the quote on the front cover, which she said had been misleadingly truncated and taken out of …