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I’m a Russian journalist. I had to flee my country.

By Alexey Kovalev

11 Mar 2022 · 5 min read

As of March 4, 2022, there is no independent media in Russia.

This is not an exaggeration: The few independent outlets that remained operational after years of government-led pressure and harassment were either blocked by Russia’s censors, were declared illegal or dissolved themselves. No one was spared; a special kind of cruel mockery was reserved for Echo of Moscow, a centrist radio station whose editor in chief, Alexey Venediktov, made a point of being on friendly terms with top regime figures. Not only did this fail to save Echo from being taken off the air (the last time that happened was in August 1991, when the then-newborn station was censored by leaders of a failed putsch), but on top of that, RT’s Margarita Simonyan gleefully announced that the station’s former frequency would be transferred to Radio Sputnik, a government propaganda outlet that she heads.

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