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How Western News Is Getting Around Putin’s Digital Iron Curtain

By Yasmeen Serhan

22 Mar 2022 · 5 min read

As Russian forces continue their brutal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is waging a digital war of his own at home. Russia’s media sphere, which was tightly controlled by the state even before the Ukraine invasion, has become even smaller. For years, Putin has overseen a sustained crackdown on press freedom in Russia—a process that in recent weeks claimed two of the country’s last remaining independent news broadcasters, TV Rain and Echo of Moscow. Now, thanks to the Kremlin’s latest censorship law, many of the West’s major news outlets have been forced out of the country too, and millions of Russians find themselves blocked from accessing numerous major social-media platforms as well as anything resembling free and independent news.

Instead of giving up on their Russian audiences, though, international news organizations are trying to exploit gaps within this new digital iron curtain to reach the Russian people.

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