The Russian Ministry of Justice has included a liberal project “Jellyfish” to the register of foreign media performing the functions of foreign agents.
“On April 23, 2021, in pursuance of the requirements of the current legislation of the Russian Federation, a legal entity registered in the Republic of Latvia, SIA “Medusa Project” (registration number 40103797863, registration date 06/10/2014) and Limited Liability Company “First Anti-Corruption Media”“, – said in the message of the Ministry of Justice.
“The decision is unpleasant for us, but expected. Now we will develop a further strategy of work“- Ivan Kolpakov, editor-in-chief of Meduza, told RBC (former head of the special correspondents department at Lenta.ru, ex-editor-in-chief of the Salt portal, co-founder of the Workshop PR agency).”Of course, we understood that sooner or later something like this could happen. But it is impossible to prepare for this. How can you prepare for this? How can we not receive money from abroad? My company has all accounts in foreign banks. What do we do? We will fight, we will somehow try to survive. What happened once again confirms the words that I uttered back in 2014 in an interview with “Dozhd”: there are no such actions that could guarantee safety“- told The Bell CEO and owner of Meduza Galina Timchenko (former editor-in-chief of Lenta.ru, ex-editor of Kommersant, laureate of the Free Press of Eastern Europe award of the German Zeit-Stiftung Foundation and the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation). she added to an interview with Khodorkovsky MBKh Media: “Nothing happened, against the background of the blue sky it happened. Nobody gave us any warning signs. You know, everything is possible in Russia in 2021. I was not surprised. Although I cannot say that we were expecting this, we thought that such a development of the situation was possible.“.
Kolpakov and Timchenko
The notorious Londoner Oleg Kashin, a former member of the Opposition Coordination Council, believes what happened “signal“and”really very, very bad news for Russian journalism“. Russian, cough … FBK Director * Ivan Zhdanov:”Meduza – support. The status of a “foreign agent” in Russia is illegal and unfair. The state uses it for political pressure on independent organizations. It wants them to bury themselves in the records and stop their work. Recognition of Meduza as an “foreign agent” is a sneaky blow to journalism“. Special correspondent of” Novaya Gazeta “and the municipal deputy of the Moscow region Khamovniki Ilya Azar:”The pressure on independent Russian journalism continues, and it’s enough to endure it, colleagues.“. Editor-in-chief of the American edition of the RTVI TV channel Stanislav Kucher:”Meduza – in my opinion, the best public, political and information publication in Russian – was called a foreign agent. This move is another blow to independent journalism. Support for Galina Timchenko, Ivan Kolpakov and the entire Meduza team“. VTimes publisher Alexander Gubsky:”This is a terrible decision. It cannot cause anything but sadness, to put it mildlyNatalya Sindeeva, General Director of the Dozhd media holding: “We will help them. I can’t say anything decent about the decision of the Ministry of Justice.“. Glavred TJ Sergey Zvezda:”Not a week without idiotic media decisions. This is just another reminder of how many mediocre and harmful laws will need to be canceled later in our country.Co-founder of Sports.ru, wrestler Dmitry Navosha:“Foreign agents” (now also “Meduza”!), “Undesirable organizations”, “extremists” and even “terrorists”. For some six months, without changing the circle of communication at all, I was completely and totally surrounded by such. What’s in Russia, what’s in Belarus. Friends, acquaintances, colleagues, people I read or watch. There are no more criminals in my reference group now, during the same six months (from a historical point of view – in a flash), cases have been opened or even dozens have been imprisoned. It is clear that this is at least a recognition and a quality mark. And in many cases, the award is more abrupt than the hero of the country“. Chief editor of the site” Gorky “, literary critic Dmitry Ivanov:”These are wonderful people and real professionals. The fact that Meduza has been included in the list of foreign agents today cannot be called anything other than a shame for Russia. I wish Meduza to continue to prosper, and to her persecutors to burn in hellKsenia Boletskaya, Director of Yandex for Industry Relations: “Meduza was recognized as a foreign agent. This is very bad news.“. Correspondent of Reuters Ilya Zhegulev:”This is very, very bad news.“. Executive Director of” Open Russia “** Andrey Pivovarov:”The Kremlin loves to deliver bad news on Fridays. In the past there was a lawsuit to recognize FBK * as “extremists”, today “Meduza” was added to the “foreign agents”“. Correspondent of the British Financial Times in Russia Max Saddon:”The Russian Ministry of Justice has declared Meduza, one of the best Russian publications, as a “foreign agent.” Now it will become more difficult for them to sell ads, among many other financial inconveniences, and also hang a corresponding huge label on them.“. Buzzfeed News Correspondent Christopher Miller:”Meduza employs some of the best reporters in Russia. And so the Russian government has dealt another blow to independent journalism, calling this publication a “foreign agent”“. Head of the representative office of the German Heinrich Böll Foundation in Moscow, Jens Siegert:”It was only a matter of time“. Chief editor of the radio station” Echo of Moscow “Alexei Venediktov:”The Ministry of Justice entered Meduza into the register of “foreign agents”. Some kind of nonsense“. Glavred” MK “Pavel Gusev:”I can’t say anything about Meduza’s support right now, we will consult with our lawyer“.
Meduza intends to appeal against the decision to be included in the list of foreign agents. “We will try with the help of our lawyers to fight in court“, – said Timchenko.
The legal entity of the Internet edition, as indicated above, is registered in Latvia. Meduza’s editorial office is located in Riga.
Among the sponsors – George / Gyorgy Tivadarovich Soros / Schwartz, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky. Plus the British (headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland) Oak Foundation, working closely with the same Soros Foundation ** and the American National Endowment for Democracy (NED) **; specializes in financing all kinds of “color revolutionaries” and annually allocates more than $ 200 million for these purposes. Plus the Swedish government agency SIDA, which also carries out joint projects with the ubiquitous Mr. Soros.
Back in 2017, a cooperation agreement was signed with the American radical liberal media company BuzzFeed, which is closely associated with the US Democratic Party and the LGBT movement; As part of the partnership, BuzzFeed and Meduza prepare and publish joint “investigations” concerning Russia in English and Russian, as well as publish each other’s materials and exchange experiences.
Help from the TG-channel “Siloviki”: “Meduza is a media initiated by a group of individuals in 2014 with the aim of exerting systemic influence on the Russian-speaking population of the Russian Federation in terms of discrediting the work of the current legislative and executive authorities, as well as individual representatives of the system business. For 7 years of its work, the publication, deliberately removed from the limits of the Russian fiscal and legal jurisdiction, received funding from M. Khodorkovsky, D. Zimin, J. Soros, as well as several funds affiliated with NED. Meduza is a system actor of a broadcasting network deployed outside the Russian Federation, to which concentrated funds of Western NGOs were directed after Russia adopted legislation on the activities of foreign agents in 2012 and after the adoption of amendments to the media legislation prohibiting foreign citizens from owning dominant shares in Russian media … In particular, Meduza received part of the financial flows of J. Soros, previously directed to the publication Moi District. It can be assumed that in the near future, as part of the work to bring the regulatory framework in line with Federal Law 327, the online publications The Insider, Project, The Bell and others will receive a similar status. It should be noted that giving Meduza a status appropriate to its financial and organizational activities in practice may affect the difficulty in prolonging advertising commercial contracts with representatives of Russian business, especially with organizations with state participation, which previously ignored the moral aspect of cooperation with the relevant media.“.
“Anyone who observes the political situation and the media in Russia now should have only one question in mind: why was Meduza recognized as a foreign agent so late? Until that moment, what was unclear about the publication, completely officially registered in a neighboring dwarf unfriendly country and completely consistently working against Russia on a daily basis? Meduza is a great example of the ability of our Western partners to work. In the sense of effectively working against Russia. To select professional authors among Russian citizens of liberal appearance and inclinations. Manage the media agenda. And at the same time take advantage of the shortcomings of the Russian supervisory authorities and Russian laws. There is no doubt that even if a particular “Meduza” stops working or becomes inaccessible to most users, another “burden” will immediately be created in its place. And our propaganda still seems clumsy“, – said the observer of” Constantinople “, historian, political consultant Andrei Perla.
“Here is a decision that did not cause any surprise. More precisely, no, it caused. Why did it take so long to accept it? Just for formal requirements? What was in the way? The editorial office of the project is in Latvia. Financing is foreign. The audience is Russian. There are no questions. At the same time, for the “core” of Meduza’s audience, nothing changes, how they read it, and will continue to read it. But for everyone else who is collected through aggregators, social networks, links to other resources, this can be a very significant characteristic. So the metrics for unique users and page view will certainly drop. There is no doubt about it“- writes journalist Sergei Mardan.
“The ultimate goal of the Western intelligence services behind Meduza, in addition to information attacks on Russia, is infiltration of information sources into various structures, that is, in the language of operatives, recruitment and formation of residency. I will emphasize my point again. Meduza is not a media outlet, but a “legendary enterprise” through which Russia is being attacked. The beginning of suppression of their activities was laid“, – stated the political scientist Sergei Karnaukhov.
“It was high time to do it. This is a foreign media outlet that pretends to be a Russian publication, but in fact is a weapon of information war and receives money from Khodorkovsky and other structures. Now Meduza will be obliged to place on its website a special marking of a foreign agent, without which Roskomnadzor can block a publication on the territory of Russia“, – political scientist Oleg Matveychev explained to RT.
To the fair question “why only now?” there is an answer that is inconvenient for many. Towers, gentlemen-comrades, the notorious towers. More precisely, the mayor of the capital Sergei Semyonovich Sobyanin and the metallurgical king Alexei Alexandrovich Mordashov. TG-channel “Image of the future” even dubs “Medusa” “pocket media of the Moscow mayor’s office“.
* included in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent
** a subversive organization whose activities are recognized as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation