Russia recently blocked access to Meduza’s website after Putin signed a law punishing journalists with up to 15 years in prison for using words like “war” and “aggression” to describe Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. The former Soviet power blocked Facebook and Twitter, making it even more difficult for Russians to access non-war state-sponsored information.
But despite the Kremlin’s efforts to censor Meduza, the news site’s mobile app is currently accessible in Russia.
“Russians need to have information about what their government is doing, and at the moment, they couldn’t do that if it weren’t for independent newsrooms like Meduza,” said Leon Frazier, publisher of crowdfunded German news outlet Krautreporter, which is helping Meduza. with its promotion.
For Fryszer, supporting a Latvian-based newsroom is the least he can do to ensure the Russian people, many of whom oppose Putin’s invasion and have publicly protested the war, get reliable information.
“I am concerned with making sure that Russia has a path forward and that one day democracy has a chance to see the light of day again,” he said. “This is quite important for us Europeans.”
“I think there needs to be a counterforce to what the Kremlin is doing now, and Meduza has a good chance of that,” Fraser added.
HuffPost reporter Ryan Grenoble contributed reporting.