The website of Friends of Novaya Gazeta Europe, a Swiss-based non-profit association that focuses public relations efforts and accumulates financial resources to ensure Novaya Gazeta Europe’s continuous operations, can no longer be accessed in Russia, Roskomsvoboda, a Russian NGO for protection of digital rights, reported on Sunday.
A universal online access checking website run by the Russian authorities, the website can no longer be reached. The reason is not specified, it is also unclear who demanded the access be restricted.
Last week, the Russian authorities also blocked the website of VPNovaya (vpnovaya.online), a mirror site of Novaya-Europe which could be used by our Russian users to request free access to our VPN service.
“We are noticing a high level of attention to our projects in the past week. Last week, the VPNovaya website was blocked, which was meant to provide keys to Russian users wishing to use our VPN service. Now, the Swiss organisation that collects donations for Novaya-Europe has been blocked, but it was not meant for Russian citizens because it cannot be used for donations from Russia for security concerns and because of the sanctions,” Novaya-Europe Editor-in-Chief Kirill Martynov said. “Some people in the censorship agency are not just very carefully reading through Novaya Gazeta Europe, like all other independent media sources, but are also trying to understand our inner workings, how our various projects support each other. If possible, they try to reach them and screw us up.”
“It is ultimately a continuation of persecution of ‘undesirable’ organisations and an attempt to keep the public completely in the dark. They want all Russians to only receive information from approved sources. I think it’s a utopian goal.”
Novaya Gazeta Europe was designated as an “undesirable organisation” on 28 June. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that its publications “contain false information about large-scale human rights abuses in Russia, accusations against Russia of waging a war of aggression in Ukraine, committing war crimes against civilians, and repressions”.