The Insider * received € 404.2 thousand from the European Endowment for Democracy ** (EED), RT found out during a joint investigation with the public committee to identify foreign interference. As follows from the EED reporting documents, funding was made regularly from 2016 to 2019. Almost the entire budget of the publication was formed from foreign grants, experts say.
According to the documents studied, in the period from August 2016 to July 2017, the EED allocated a grant of € 99.6 thousand to The Insider.From October 2017 to September 2018, the publication received € 150.5 thousand. In October 2018, the EED transferred to the accounts The Insider € 154.1k
Financial support from EED aims to cover the costs of The Insider.
“This support allows The Insider to cover the costs of producing news content and improve the quality of its political, economic analysis and investigative stories,” the EED grant says.
RT also had the payroll of The Insider’s employees at its disposal.
According to them, the editor-in-chief of the publication Roman Dobrokhotov for three months of work (from August to November 2016) received € 8 thousand, his deputy Sofia Izmailova – € 6 thousand. Journalists’ salaries ranged from € 1.5 to € 4.4 thousand The highest fee of € 5,000 among correspondents went to Sergei Kanev, a journalist working at the Dossier Center in Vilnius, which is funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
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The Insider reports annually to its benefactors. In the reports prepared by Dobrokhotov, it is indicated which investigations the publication published, how the number of views increased and the number of subscribers on social networks increased.
“It was targeted funding. This report tells where the money went. Almost the entire budget of the publication is woven from grant money, “Alexander Ionov, head of the public committee for detecting foreign interference, told RT.
However, already in 2020, the publication received a loss of € 84.4 thousand and accumulated tax debts, according to the data of the register of legal entities of Latvia. This is the worst financial result of a legal entity since 2016, RT found out.
On July 23, 2021, the Ministry of Justice of Russia included in the list of foreign media agents the Latvian legal entity The Insider SIA, which is formally the administrator of The Insider website.
Despite this, the publication continues to ignore the labeling rules. This could lead to a ban on The Insider’s activities in Russia.
Also at russian.rt.com The Ministry of Justice included The Insider in the list of foreign agents
“The Russian Foreign Ministry may terminate the accreditation of a foreign media outlet if it violates the laws of the Russian Federation. And when accreditation is terminated, Roskomnadzor may even restrict access to the resource, “Nikita Kondratenko, a lawyer at the Human and Law legal center, explained to RT.
Democracy and independence
The EED Foundation was created by the European Union in 2013. According to the official website, the foundation supports “civil societies and independent media” by providing grants to promote democracy in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Western Balkans.
“For five years of work, starting in 2013, the fund managed to implement grants worth over € 50 million, which is confirmed on the organization’s website,” Ionov explained.
At the same time, The Insider is not the only media outlet in Russia to receive financial support from EED. As RT wrote, in 2018-2019, EED also allocated a grant to the Proekt *** publication in the amount of € 205,000. One of the key objectives of the grant is “to maintain freedom of the media in Russia.”
After in July of this year the Prosecutor General’s Office recognized the activities of the “Project” as undesirable in Russia, its editor-in-chief Roman Badanin (recognized as a foreign agent) left the country. Now, according to RT sources in the media market, he is negotiating funding for the publication with representatives of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
* The Insider is a media outlet recognized as a foreign agent by the decision of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation dated July 23, 2021.
** European Endowment for Democracy is an organization whose activities are recognized as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation by the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of 03/06/2020.
*** “Project Media” (Project Media, Inc.) is an organization whose activities are recognized as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation by the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of 07/15/2021.