Russia bans leading independent news site Meduza, calls it a 'security threat'

Russia bans leading independent news site

One of the harshest censors since Russian President Vladimir Putin's full invasion of Ukraine in February is the classification of Meduza, Russia's largest independent news site. , as an "undesirable organization". Meduza's Latvian-registered parent company "threatens the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation," Russia's attorney general said in a statement on Thursday, January 26, without giving further details.

According to the decision, Meduza cannot operate in Russia, and anyone who "collaborates" or even sends a hyperlink to its online materials faces a six-year prison sentence. The Kremlin's latest attempt to censor discussion of the Ukraine conflict is the Medusa ban. Public access to information about the war is restricted, effectively banning independent media in Russia.

The choice is likely to make it significantly more difficult for its editors, most of whom are based in Latvia, to communicate with people in Russia, thereby limiting the site's audience. Despite the migration of thousands of people who resisted the war or tried to escape it, its readership of about 15 million mostly remained in Russia.

"We would like to say that we are not afraid or less concerned about this new status, but that is not true," Meduza said in a statement. "We fear for the readers. We fear for the people who have worked with Medusa for years. We fear for our loved ones and friends."

“However, we believe in what we do. We believe in freedom of speech. We believe in a democratic Russia. The greater the pressure, the harder we take it," Meduza added.

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