A Russian independent news organization has received more than $250,000 in cryptocurrency donations from supporters to continue reporting independent news in the face of Russian government propaganda and censorship.
Since March, Meduza, a Latvian-based Russian-language news site that claims to cover “actual Russia today,” has started accepting donations in the form of USD, euros, and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance (BNB), Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR), and zcash (ZEC).
The news organization has received about US$250,000 in bitcoin donations from 146,000 individual transactions since announcing its donation appeal. 3.75 BTC ($116,954) and 49.9 ETH ($117,767) accounted for almost 93 per cent of the entire gift amount.
Meduza’s financial woes began in April 2021, when the Russian Ministry of Justice branded Meduza and several other independent media outlets as “foreign agents,” forcing the company to publish a large-font warning in each of its Russian-language articles to warn readers. Inquire about his status as a “foreign agent.” The same caution should be included in all commercials, resulting in the loss of nearly all of the company’s advertisers.
However, the categorization as a foreign agent did not deter Russian readers from donating to the group, as the firm quickly set up a system for contributors to make regulated donations through their banks using Stripe’s payment processor.
Russian government censorship and the impact of Western sanctions haunted Meduza in March
Russian officials disabled her website for “disseminating material in violation of the law,” The only means she could accept money from Russian supporters were cut off on February 26 when the SWIFT network for Russian banks was shut down.
SWIFT is a global financial communications network that allows financial organizations to send and receive money internationally.
Meduza noted on her contribution page that they were unable to collect money from their Russian supporters due to budgetary constraints.
Since February 25, the news organization and its writers have been releasing daily updates on Russia’s war against Ukraine, sharing photographs and stories about Ukrainian people who have been harmed by the conflict and other vital events not covered by Russian media.
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