A Russian-language independent news outlet has raised more than $250,000 in cryptocurrency donations to continue reporting independent news under the Russian government crackdown and censorship.
What Happened: Latvia-based Meduza, a news site that says its reports on “The Real Russia,” has been collecting donations since March in the form of USD, Euros, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin BTC/USD and Ethereum ETH/USD among others.
According to a CoinDesk report, the news company has so far received around $250,000 in crypto donations from 146,000 individual transactions. It further added that around 93% of the total donations came in the form of 3.75 Bitcoin ($116,954) and 49.9 Ethereum ($117,767).
How Did This Happen: Financial troubles for Meduza began in April 2021, after it, along with several other independent media outlets critical of President Vladimir Putin, was labeled by Russia’s Justice Ministry as “foreign agents.”
This required company to place a large font warning in each of its Russian-language articles, informing readers of its “foreign agent” status – which led to a loss of nearly all its advertisers.
Although its foreign agent status did not prevent Russian readers from donating to the organization — it was after the Russian invasion of Ukraine when the government decided to block its site in the country, and it lost “30,000 donators.”
Russian authorities banned the site for “disseminating information in violation of the law.” and the company says that now it gets “no money from Russia at all.”