Skip to main content
  • Share to or

You can’t silence us Russia’s president will lose, too, when the nation’s free press is gone

Source: Meduza

We’re publishing this text while there’s still time for us to mark the beginning of yet another historic development: Russia has officially introduced state censorship. What do we mean by “still time”? Within a few days, maybe even today, it is possible that there will be no independent media left in Russia. Very soon, it’s possible that anyone in Russia seeking information from the “enemy voices” of independent sources will need to make the same efforts as those who lived behind the Iron Curtain.

The federal censor’s demand that we refer to the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation”; their letters requiring news outlets to take down reports about the war; their orders to block the websites of, Doxa, The Village, TV Rain, Ekho Moskvy radio station (among many others) — these actions constitute censorship, plain and simple.

The Russian Constitution explicitly bans state censorship — even the version that was adopted in 2020 to allow Vladimir Putin to rule Russia like a monarch. Will the officials at Roskomnadzor and the Attorney General’s Office who are actively censoring the independent media ever be held responsible? This question is rhetorical, of course. At this point, even the most basic accountability is fantasy.

By today’s standards, censorship might not seem like a serious crime — especially compared to the murder of Ukrainian civilians. But the destruction of Russia’s independent media was one of the things that made this war possible.

In a Russia with uncensored national television networks, Putin might never have gone through with this invasion. After all, our current networks are clearly showing Putin exactly what he wants to see — a set of lies that he, by all appearances, has embraced himself and has used as the basis for his decisions in the real world.

In other words, at the end of the day, even Putin would be better off with some independent media — if only he understood how it actually works and why a modern society can’t function without it! The deplorable state in which our country now finds itself is one of the results of the authorities’ assault on the independent media — and thus against reality itself.

If we’re going to have any chance of stopping this war (and then trying to improve life in Russia at least a little), we need an independent media.

Meduza supports our friends and colleagues from other independent media outlets. Find our instructions for continuing to access blocked resources here.
  • Share to or