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Indie Russian news firm raises $250K in crypto after sanctions cripple finances



A Russian impartial news firm has raised greater than $250,000 in cryptocurrency donations from supporters in order to proceed reporting impartial news beneath a barrage of Russian authorities propaganda and censorship. 

Meduza, a Latvian-based Russian-language news website that claims to report on “the real Russia, today,” has been asking for donations since April 2021 in the type of United States greenback, euro and cryptocurrencies together with Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), BNB, Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC).

Since publishing their donations plea, the news firm has acquired round $250,000 in crypto donations by means of 146,000 particular person transactions. Round 93% of the overall donation quantity got here in the type of 3.75 BTC with $116,954 and 49.9 ETH with $117,767.

Of us, Meduza has redesigned its crowdfunding after being disconnected from our supporters in Russia. We now flip to you—our international viewers—to interchange these 30k donators. Assist us hold Russians & the world knowledgeable in regards to the monstrous struggle in opposition to Ukraine.

— Meduza in English (@meduza_en) March 14, 2022

Meduza’s cash troubles truly started in April 2021, after it and several other different impartial media shops obtained labeled by Russia’s Justice Ministry as “foreign agents,” requiring the corporate to put a big font warning in every of its Russian-language articles informing readers of its “foreign agent” standing. The identical warning additionally has to look in all ads, resulting in a lack of almost all its advertisers. It wrote on its donations FAQ:

“As you can imagine, few companies will pay to promote their products below a warning that the content was “created by foreign agents.”

Being labeled as a overseas agent didn’t stop readers in Russia from donating to the group, nonetheless, as the corporate promptly arrange an avenue for contributors to offer regulator donations by means of their banks utilizing fee processor Stripe and thru crypto.

However, in March, Meduza discovered itself pincered by each Russian authorities censorship and the influence of Western sanctions. Russian authorities blocked its web site for “disseminating information in violation of the law.” Additionally, a significant avenue for receiving donations from Russian supporters was blocked by a ban on the SWIFT community for Russian banks on February 26.

SWIFT is a world monetary messaging community utilized by monetary establishments to execute worldwide cash transfers.

Meduza wrote on its donation web site that the monetary restrictions had made it unimaginable for them to discipline donations from their supporters in Russia.

Since February 25, the news group and its journalists have been publishing each day updates on Russia’s struggle in opposition to Ukraine, sharing photos and tales about Ukrainian civilians impacted by the struggle and different main occasions not reported by native Russian media.

“Millions of people in Russia now rely on our reporting,” wrote Meduza, noting its journalists had been compelled to go away the nation:

“Since the outbreak of this war, transferring money from Russia to Europe has been impossible. We lost 30,000 donators. At the moment, we get no money from Russia at all.”

Ivan Kolpakov, editor-in-chief of Meduza, instructed Bloomberg that the donations will assist their 25 journalists who’ve since fled the nation to resettle in Riga, Latvia, the place the corporate’s headquarters is positioned.

Associated: The Ukraine invasion exhibits why we’d like crypto regulation

Meduza and its journalists usually are not the one unintentional victims of the Russian sanctions. Media reviews over the months have pointed to on a regular basis Russians, college students learning overseas, worldwide college students in Russia and even total nations’ civilian populations as having been severely impacted by Russian-facing sanctions.

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