Russia recently blocked access to Meduza’s website as Putin signed a law threatening journalists with up to 15 years in prison for using words such as ‘war’ and ‘invasion’ to describe Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. The former Soviet power has also blocked Facebook and Twitter, making it even more difficult for Russians to access non-state-sponsored information about the war.
But despite the Kremlin’s attempts to censor Meduza, the news site’s mobile app is still accessible in Russia.
“Russians need information about what their government is doing and at the moment they can’t do that except for independent newsrooms like Meduza,” said German media editor Leon Fryszer. crowdfunded Krautreporter, which helps Meduza with his campaign.
For Fryszer, supporting the Latvia-based editorial staff is the least he can do to ensure that the Russian people, many of whom oppose Putin’s invasion and have publicly protested the war at the risk of their lives, get reliable information.
“I also want there to be a way forward for Russia and there is a chance that one day democracy will see the light of day again,” he said. “It’s quite important for us as Europeans.”
“I think there has to be a counterforce to what the Kremlin is doing now, and Meduza has a good chance of being that,” Fryszer added.
HuffPost reporter Ryan Grenoble contributed reporting.