07.30.2021

Putin Continues to Suppress Journalism in Russia

In Russia, President Putin’s efforts to suppress journalism show no sign of abating. Just yesterday, Russian security officers raided the home of Roman Dobrohotov, editor of the independent news site The Insider. Alexey Kovalev knows what it’s like to report from under the heavy hand of the Russian state and joins the show to discuss.

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AND FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, GIVEN THAT THIS HAPPENED TO MEDUSA AS WELL, HOW MUCH FURTHER, HOW MUCH WORSE CAN THINGS GET?

THEY CAN GET MUCH, MUCH WORK.

LOOK AT BELARUS.

WE'RE NOT THERE YET.

WE'RE PROBABLY A FEW MONTHS BEHIND.

YOU KNOW WHAT, MOST OF US HAVE REALLY PASSED THE POINT OF BEING AFRAID.

RIGHT NOW IT'S JUST INCREDIBLY TIRING.

EVERY MORNING I'M WAKING UP AND THERE ARE ANY ONGOING RAIDS, FIRST TO MAKE SURE THAT THE POLICE ARE NOT RUNNING DOWN MYD.

ONGOING RAIDS ON MY COLLEAGUES.

I'M THINKING, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TODAY?

AM I GOING TO DO PUBLIC SERVICE JOURNALISM OR DOCUMENT THE DEMISE OF MY OWN INDUSTRY?

IT'S JUST REALLY FRUSTRATING.

I WAS TALKING WITH A COLLEAGUE WHO HAD TO SHUT DOWN PREEMPTIVELY BEFORE BEING DECLARED A FOREIGN AGENT BECAUSE THEY HEARD THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE IT PROBABLY WAS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND THEY SHUT DOWN THE ORGANIZATION AND WE WERE DISCUSSING THIS, AND WE BOTH THOUGHT IT'S REALLY FRUSTRATING TO BE SPENDING THE BEST YEARS, THE MOST PRODUCTIVES ON THIS.

BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST BEING AFRAID OF THOSE RAIDS.

THESE LAWS, THESE FOREIGN AGENTS LAWS, ONE ORGANIZATION WAS EVEN DECLARED AN UNDESIRABLE ORGANIZATION, ANOTHER INVESTIGATIVE OUTLET.

AND THEY JUST REALLY HAD TO EVACUATE THEIR EMPLOYEES OUT OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE IT'S NOW SIMPLY ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE TO WORK WITH THEM.

THE ONE COMMONALITY SEEMS TO BE THAT THEY ARE AT TIMES CRITICAL AND OBJECTIVE WHEN IT COMES TO REPORTING ON DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, SPECIFICALLY THE KREMLIN.

CAN YOU GIVE OUR VIEWERS AN INDICATION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LABELED A FOREIGN AGENT, AN UNDESIRABLE?

I FOLLOW YOUR WEBSITE, PERHAPS MANY PEOPLE DON'T.

THEY SHOULD.

BUT IT DOES COME WITH MANY WARNINGS NOW THAT JUST REALLY ARE AN EYESORE.

WELL, IT'S DESIGNED TO DO SO.

IT'S ALSO A LEGAL MINEFIELD.

SO AFTER I CHECK MY PHONE FOR ONGOING RAIDS, DURING THE DAY I'LL HAVE TO CHECK EVERY STORY AND UPLOAD ON THE WEBSITE TO MAKE SURE I PUT ALL THE DISCLAIMERS AND NAMES OF ALL THOSE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN DECLARED UNDESIRABLE OR EXTREMIST TO MAKE SURE THAT I'M NOT FINED FOR OMITTING THED.

About This Episode EXPAND

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya; Alexey Kovalev; Colleen Hacker; Michelle Fiscus; Jason Martin

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