Russian authorities are waging a war against Ukraine, their own people, and the whole world. Russian independent media outlets have been truthfully documenting and reporting about this war and the Kremlin’s dictatorship for many years. When the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began, Russia adopted war-time censorship laws, which decimated hundreds of outlets in the country. Just like many of our colleagues, we made the difficult choice of leaving our country to have the right to speak. We believe that the Russian public deserves to know the truth about the war and its consequences for the country.
Having failed to completely stamp out every independent voice and outlet in the country or force us to stay silent, the Kremlin has now labelled us as criminals. On 28 June 2023, Russia designated Novaya Gazeta Europe as an “undesirable organisation”. A day earlier, the Russian authorities launched a missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, killing 11 people, among them children, and injuring 61 more. The Russian authorities are persecuting journalists because they do not want ordinary Russians to know about this crime and many others.
The Prosecutor General’s Office claims that Novaya Gazeta Europe “disseminates tendentious information to Russia’s detriment”. We, in turn, believe that nothing causes more detriment to Russia than this criminal war along with those who unleashed and supports it, including the officials in the Prosecutor General’s Office.
“The main topics of the publications [by Novaya Gazeta Europe] include false information about alleged mass violations of rights and freedoms of citizens in Russia, accusations pressed against Russia of waging an aggressive war in Ukraine, committing war crimes against civilians, and repressions,” the agency continues. Novaya-Europe’s journalists are essentially branded criminals for telling it like it is.
And we will continue to do so.
The atrocities that the Russian authorities are committing in Ukraine are much more horrifying than any “legal status” that they slap on anyone who dares to speak out. Hundreds of fellow Russians are persecuted for standing up for what’s right and for speaking out against the war — we cannot betray them or stay silent about their ordeals.
Cooperation with “unfavourable organisations” can result in fines and even prison sentences for Russians. But this status is practically the last tool that the Kremlin can use against us. This measure is meant to threaten journalists, writers, and readers. Russian officials want us to be gone — along with any smidgeon of truth. But we cannot do them such a favour.
We plead with our audience in Russia to be careful, remove any links to our articles from their social media accounts, and refrain from quoting us in the future.
But you can and should read what we have to say!
We are calling on our colleagues for solidarity and mutual support. It is clear that the Kremlin will continue to stamp out any dissent in the form of independent media outlets since they failed to achieve this after the Ukraine war began.
Novaya-Europe is not going anywhere.
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The Russian government has banned independent media. We were forced to leave our country in order to keep doing our job, telling our readers about what is going on Russia, Ukraine and Europe.
We will continue fighting against warfare and dictatorship. We believe that freedom of speech is the most efficient antidote against tyranny. Support us financially to help us fight for peace and freedom.