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Russian-speaking journalists forced off Stripe by sanctions turn to crypto – Crypto News

  • Despite Moscow’s ban on independent reporting, Meduza continues to document Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • The Riga-based store was cut off from the payment rail Stripe due to severe Western sanctions imposed earlier this year

Independent Russian-language website Meduza has raised more than $260,000 in crypto after Western sanctions crippled its ability to raise funds through other means.

Meduza, which operates out of Latvia, turned to crypto after fintech giant Stripe stopped supporting payments to the site.

That news agency was established after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Independent reporting of the war in Ukraine is now basically illegal, but Meduza still publicly investigates and documents alleged Russian war crimes from its Riga newsroom.

Russia’s internet censorship is now blocking several news outlets – including Meduza – forcing Russian-based readers to access the site through virtual private networks and Telegram channels.

Meduza’s homepage

Last year, Meduza was branded a “foreign agent,” which ultimately halted local ad revenue. Crypto has now allegedly enabled Meduza to fully rely on funds sent by foreigners for the first time.

Before the war, according to Bloomberg, Meduza raised donations from around 30,000 Russian readers. The outlet’s traffic has since been reduced by a third.

Meduza recently asked the international audience to donate cash (dollars, euros and crypto). It accepts Bitcoin, Ether (and Ethereum-based tokens), Monero, BNB (and other BNB chain tokens), Zcash, and Tether (USDT). Fiat contributions can still be sent via bank transfer or PayPal.

Meduza’s crypto donors have so far sent 3.75 BTC ($117,400), nearly 50 ETH ($118,400) and more than $30,000 in various ERC-20 and BNB chain tokens, including stablecoins Tether and USDC. According to blockchain data verified by Blockworks, none of the trackable cryptos have been withdrawn so far.

Large individual contributions include 12 ETH ($28,500) received last Monday and 1 BTC ($31,500) settled the day after.

The outlet says it will use this money to quickly relocate its 25 journalists, mostly to the Latvian capital. Meduza’s editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov told reporters that Meduza is currently meeting only half of the demand.

Deutsche Welle and US-funded Radio Free Europe also settled in Riga after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta plans to launch a new operation there as well, Bloomberg noted.

In any case, Meduza joins a growing list of journalistic organizations accepting posts about crypto, including the Freedom of the Press Foundation, WikiLeaks, Bellingcat, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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The post “Russian-speaking journalists coerced by sanctions by Stripe turn to crypto” is not financial advice.

Source: Crypto News Austria

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