Two Russian journalists fired for publishing against the war in Ukraine

Two Russian journalists from the digital newspaper Lenta.ru were fired after publishing messages against Russia’s war in Ukraine, one of the reporters reported to the independent media outlet Mediazona.

Throughout this Monday (05.09.2022), a day that coincides with the celebration of May 9 for the 77th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, several texts appeared against Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Slow.ru.

“Vladimir Putin has become a pitiful and paranoid dictator”, “the Russian elite is sick with nepotism and adulation” and “war makes it easy to cover up economic failures” and “Putin must go. He unleashed a senseless war and has Russia to the abyss” were some of the messages (now deleted) that were published today in the media, according to Mediazone.

Two editors of Slow.ru, the head of the Economics section, Yegor Poliakov, and the Environment section, Alexandra Miroshnikova, took responsibility for the texts. “I think we can say that we no longer work at Lenta,” Poliakov explained to Mediazone.

He stressed that this is not a hack, but a “conscious decision” that was made relatively long ago. “The main reason is conscience,” he said, arguing that currently the Russian media space has been divided into those who support the Kremlin and other “many good and valuable people who work in the media without selling out.”

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“I think now all opponents of the war should unite, regardless of their views,” he said. He indicated that, after the massive blocking of independent media, there is hardly any press left in the country that can be seen without a VPN, “a virtual private network that allows circumventing censorship,” the journalist said.

He and Miroshnikova selected between 40 and 45 key news items that the Russian media began to silence after the start of the war to edit them and include their messages against the war offensive, “trying not to fall into ‘reverse propaganda,'” he explained. (ef)

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