If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they’ll get Meduza responds to the Russian authorities’ decision to outlaw our journalism
Meduza has been declared an “undesirable” organization in Russia. In other words, our newsroom’s work is now completely banned in the country our founders call home.
If Meduza doesn’t now dissolve itself, Russian criminal prosecution threatens not only our senior staff and team of journalists but also anyone who simply distributes our materials (including acts as innocuous as sharing a link on Facebook to one of our articles), anyone who tries to donate money to support our journalism, and even anyone who grants our reporters an interview or so much as a comment.
Back in 2021, Russia’s Justice Ministry designated Meduza as a “foreign agent.” After Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian authorities started blocking Meduza’s website. Despite the Kremlin’s efforts, we have continued our work, maintaining an audience of several million people inside Russia, and becoming the largest uncensored Russian-language news outlet in the world.
We’d like to tell you that our new “undesirable” status doesn’t worry us — that it means nothing. But that would be untrue. We are afraid. We fear for our readers and for those who have collaborated with Meduza for many years. We fear for our loved ones and our friends.
But we believe in what we do. We believe in free speech. And we believe in a democratic Russia. The greater the pressure against us and our values, the harder we will resist.
We also believe in solidarity, and we’re inspired by the journalists at other “undesirable” publications who never stopped their work. We find strength in the support we’ve received from colleagues in the media and at NGOs committed to resisting the Russian authorities. Working alongside such determined, brave, and principled people is a joy and the privilege of a lifetime. In these difficult moments, we’ve also received invaluable help and advice from our colleagues around the world. This support and this community are what keep us going; they’re how we know we haven’t the right to give up and go silent.
We will find ways to operate in these new conditions. We will continue to report events to our readers, millions of whom are still in Russia. We will not submit to Russia’s Internet censorship.
Meduza in English will continue its work too. Our international edition is stronger now than ever before. Every day, our journalists cover what is happening in and around Russia, delivering the news through our flagship website, podcast, social media, and daily and weekly newsletters.
Our need for support from people across the globe has never been more urgent. In 2022, our contributors living inside Russia lost the technical means to send donations to Meduza. Now, any Russian national who pledges so much as a kopeck to our newsroom risks felony prosecution. We cannot put our readers at risk.
We believe that free speech and access to information are not gifts but hard-won achievements that must be protected. Much else, from free elections and free expression to an active civil society, simply cannot function without this basic foundation. And we are ready to fight for it.