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Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Meduza’s English-language podcast, The Naked Pravda highlights how our top reporting intersects with the wider research and expertise that exists about Russia. The broader context of Meduza’s in-depth, original journalism isn’t always clear, which is where this show comes in. Here you’ll hear from the world’s community of Russia experts, activists, and reporters about issues that are at the heart of Meduza’s stories and crucial to major events in and ...
 
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Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en After Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, five Hollywood giants — Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Sony Pictures, and Paramount — all stopped releasing new films in Russia. Netflix, which was producing multiple shows in Russia for the domestic market, has also suspended all ser…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Earlier this week, the European Union passed a landmark agreement banning most Russian oil imports into the region by the end of the year, though the embargo features a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline in order to overcome opposition from landlocked Hungary. In late May, the U.S. Treasu…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Through speeches by political leaders and in television broadcasts that have blanketed the country (as well as new territories recently seized by force), the Kremlin has argued breathlessly that Ukrainian statehood is a historical accident weaponized by Russia’s enemies. This rhetoric, which essentially den…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en The past nine weeks of all-out war have completely upended civilian life throughout Ukraine. After withdrawing from around Kyiv and Chernihiv in late March, Russian forces are ostensibly refocusing their invasion on taking Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions. With many cities, towns, and villages already…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en The Russian North Caucasus has played a special role in the invasion of Ukraine. Journalists estimate that at least 60 men from Dagestan died fighting for Russia by March 23, indicating that this republic had lost more soldiers, by far, than any other region in Russia. In terms of public messaging, Chechen …
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian authorities imposed military censorship in all but name, annihilating the entire domestic free press. Within a week of Moscow’s “special operation in the Donbas,” the television station Dozhd and radio station Ekho Moskvy both shut down, ending 12 an…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en This week’s guest is Meduza special correspondent Lilya Yapparova, who just spent several days in Chernihiv, reporting on how the Russian invasion has destroyed local families and upended residents’ lives. She managed to leave the city just before Russian troops besieged it again. Now back in Kyiv, still re…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en We’re now more than three weeks deep into Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and many are asking the question: What information is still reaching Russians? Unless you’re using a VPN to tunnel beneath the state’s censorship, Instagram is blocked, Facebook is blocked, Twitter is blocked, and YouTube is …
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en In the days since Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Western world has imposed crippling economic sanctions on Russia designed to force extreme costs on the Kremlin for its aggression. In the Biden administration’s words, the measures will “weaken the Russian defense sector and its…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en On February 21, Vladimir Putin delivered a nearly hour-long televised lecture on Soviet history, describing what he clearly believes are the flimsy foundations of Ukrainian statehood and arguing that the government in Kyiv owes its territory today to the supposed generosity of the Bolsheviks, particularly V…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Meduza spoke to the two hosts of a special project organized by the Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. In roughly 16 hours of interviews, “The Ambassadorial Series” features in-depth conversations with eight of the living former U.S. ambassadors to R…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Eastern European breakaway states of Transnistria, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia exist in a sort of geopolitical limbo. Born out of wars that ended in deadlocks in the early 1990s, these self-governing regions remain unrecognized by most of the world a…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en January 2022 kicked off with a flurry of tense diplomatic talks between Russian and Western officials. Moscow is seeking wide-ranging security guarantees in Europe, while simultaneously massing upwards of 100,000 troops along its Western border. The buildup has provoked international concern that Russia pla…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en In the past two weeks, Russia has demonstrated its capacity to project military power at different corners of its periphery, sending troops to Kazakhstan for a small but symbolic peacekeeping operation and pressing sweeping security demands in Europe, where the West has accused the Kremlin of plotting a war…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en On this week’s show, The Naked Pravda looks back at some of the journalism and scholarly work in 2021 that made significant contributions to our knowledge about Russia. These nine articles feature incredible fieldwork, insights into how power works in Russia, and compelling stories that you might have misse…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en The lawyers and journalists who worked with the Team 29 project specialized in Russia’s most hopeless political prosecutions — the treason case against journalist Ivan Safronov, the extremism charges against Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption movement, and dozens more indictments all but doomed to convictions…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Earlier this week, events in space flirted with a real-life adaptation of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 motion picture “Gravity” when the Russian military blew up an inoperative Soviet satellite that had been orbiting the Earth since the early 1980s. Moscow insists that the debris didn’t get within 40 kilometers (2…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Our main story this week is Russia’s place in Europe’s energy crisis. Political risk analyst Nick Trickett, the author of the OGs and OFZs newsletter, joins the podcast to explain what consumers want from Moscow, why being a “swing producer” is inherently political, and how inflation endangers ordinary Russ…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Our main story this week is the treason case against Ilya Sachkov, the 35-year-old CEO of the cybersecurity firm Group-IB. On Wednesday morning, September 29, hours after officials raided the company’s Moscow office, a local court jailed Sachkov for the next two months, pending trial. That will likely be ex…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Earlier this month, Moscow was one of just a few regions in Russia to offer electronic voting in three-day parliamentary elections. In the capital, multiple opposition candidates led in-person voting but ultimately lost when electronic votes were added late to the final tallies. In the week since the voting…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Khalimat Taramova is only 22 years old, but she’s been through a lot, especially in the past two weeks. Kept under lock and key at home in Chechnya, her family beats her and even forced her to undergo so-called “conversion therapy.” Taramova identifies as bisexual. Last month, she reached out to a prominent…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Last week, investigative journalists at Meduza and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty revealed that a Russian marketing firm recently tried to recruit European bloggers in a secret media campaign to smear Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. To find out more about these solicitations and to learn how this fits into R…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en On May 13, a Ukrainian court placed pro-Kremlin oligarch and lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk under round-the-clock house arrest pending trial for high treason. The country’s Prosecutor General had signed off on the charges two days earlier, indicting not only Medvedchuk, but also his closest ally and fellow lawm…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en As you may have learned from the crowdfunding banners now adorning this website, the Russian authorities designated Meduza as a “foreign agent” on April 23. Our new status in Russia has chased away advertisers and deprived us of revenue, endangering Meduza’s continued existence. That’s the sad truth of our …
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en A lot has happened this month. On the world stage, Russia’s relations with the Czech Republic started unraveling on April 17, when officials in Prague accused Russian military intelligence agents of destroying ammunition depots seven years ago in explosions that killed two people. Three days before that bom…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en This week, the Biden administration rolled out the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, slapping Moscow (yet again) with a series of targeted measures to punish the Kremlin for alleged election meddling, hacking, and military aggression. The U.S. Treasury Department identified a few dozen persons …
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Last month, the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences decided to withhold public access to new research on atmospheric and soil pollution in cities throughout the region. The discussion about burying the “alarmist” report was streamed on YouTube, however, and the academy’s effort to purge the f…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en When it comes to carrying out repressions, the Russian government’s reach isn’t limited by its own borders. The Kremlin is known for going after perceived enemies abroad — especially former “insiders” and members of the political opposition. In recent years, high-profile assassinations linked to Russian age…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en In an interview published on March 17, U.S. President Joe Biden said he considers Vladimir Putin to be a “killer,” prompting the Russian president to respond a day later with a schoolyard retort that translates loosely to the phrase: “Look who’s talking!” In what sounded more like a threat than a salutation…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Russia and Twitter haven’t really gotten along for years now. In fact, since 2017, federal censors at Roskomnadzor (RKN) have filed more than 28,000 takedown requests with the social network, and the agency complains that Twitter still grants Russian users access to 3,168 of these materials containing suppo…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en In a time when intergalactic superheroes dominate global box offices and capture the imaginations of millions of people around the world, what do we see when we look back at the science fiction of the Cold War? What is gained and what is obscured by comparing the films and literature created by the two supe…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Belarus has seen ongoing protests since August 2020, when election officials declared that Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) had won his sixth consecutive presidential term. The mass demonstrations were met with a violent police crackdown, and several members of the opposition were thrown in pris…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden recently had their first presidential phone call — a conversation that paved the way for a renewal of the New START Treaty (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty reached in April 2010 between presidents Obama and Medvedev). But most other arms control agreements between Moscow and…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en For the last six months, Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been making headlines both in Russia and abroad. His near-fatal poisoning in August 2020 provoked international outcry and his immediate arrest upon returning to Russia after spending months recovering in Germany sparked a wave of pro…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en In December 2010, a St. Petersburg businessman named Sergey Kolesnikov penned a nifty four-page open letter to then-President Dmitry Medvedev, outlining how a glorious palace built for Vladimir Putin came to be. The details of this seemingly ancient document are now familiar again thanks to a massive invest…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Thanks to Russia’s recent constitutional amendments, local self-government has effectively lost its independence. State officials at all levels are now accountable, one way or another, to the president. Dramatic as these changes seem on paper, the reforms, in fact, formally recognize what has long been true…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en There have been major breakthroughs in the investigative reporting surrounding the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, whom the Federal Security Service allegedly tried to assassinate in August 2020. As Meduza has reported previously, Navalny’s case is part of a long, grim trend in Russia…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Even if you follow news in Russia regularly, you might be unaware or only vaguely aware that Russia’s Central Bank printed an enormous sum of money over the past decade in a sweeping campaign to restructure the country’s major banks and liquidate smaller failing financial institutions. In a recent joint inv…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en On November 15, Moldovan citizens at home and abroad came out in record-breaking numbers to cast their ballots in the run-off vote of the country’s 2020 presidential elections. In the end, former Prime Minister Maia Sandu defeated incumbent President Igor Dodon, becoming Moldova’s very first woman president…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Back in early October, Meduza learned about a whole archive of transcripts between members of the Clinton administration and Vladimir Putin, dated between 1999 and 2001 — records that were first declassified and published by the Clinton Digital Library in August 2019. We wrote three feature stories based on…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en A six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh has ended disastrously for Armenia. Judging by the map, the situation on the ground will revert mostly to the conditions in place before Yerevan’s 1991 war with Baku, leaving Azerbaijani artillery perched just outside the breakaway republic’s capital city and the 50,000 so…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en On October 5, thousands of opposition demonstrators took to the streets of Bishkek to protest the official results of Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections. About a dozen different opposition parties had failed to overcome the seven percent threshold needed to get into parliament and two pro-government parti…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en In April 2020, Russia shipped 45 ventilator machines to New York City as part of what became a humanitarian exchange with America at the height of the Big Apple’s initial coronavirus outbreak. But what should have been a heartwarming display of cooperation in challenging times quickly became a political boo…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Armenia and Azerbaijan reached a fragile ceasefire agreement in Moscow on October 10 after nearly a dozen hours in negotiations. The two sides will suspend hostilities so bodies and prisoners of war can be exchanged, while diplomats from Yerevan and Baku debate a more lasting resolution. Since the late 1980…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en The historian Stephen Cohen died on September 18 at the age of 81. Though he became something of a pariah among American Russianists in his final years, particularly after 2014 (thanks to his views on the Ukraine conflict, which often dovetailed with Kremlin talking points), Cohen was perhaps best known pro…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en About a decade ago, after a temporary falling out with Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko tried to pivot his country to the West. In this endeavor, he had help from a British PR firm called “Bell Pottinger” that once employed some of the most influential spin-doctors in the world. The…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en The German media reported on September 9 that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a new type of “Novichok” nerve agent, more dangerous than any variation previously identified. Earlier in the month, Meduza science editor Alexander Ershov interviewed biochemist Marc-Michael Blum to fin…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en On September 1, 2020, the Russian newspaper Kommersant ran a story that looked like a real bombshell before it fizzled out. The report, titled “Hackers Appeal to the U.S. State Department: American Voter Data Appears on Russian Darknet,” credits a Russian hacker platform with posting millions of American vo…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en If you’ve read anything about Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, “Sputnik V,” you know that it’s rolling out to the public in October, just as Phase III trials begin — meaning that researchers still have no idea how effective the product actually is. So far, the scientists developing Sputnik V say they’ve combin…
 
Save Meduza! https://support.meduza.io/en Opposition politician and Anti-Corruption Foundation creator Alexey Navalny was hospitalized early on Thursday, August 20, in critical condition. At the time this podcast was recorded, he was in a coma and breathing through a ventilator in Omsk, where his flight home to Moscow was forced to make an emergenc…
 
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