Доверяй, но проверяй (“Trust but verify”) are words of wisdom Russians have heard for generations.
In their language, this rhyming reminder rings with irony, as the people they’re asked to trust almost entirely control their ability to verify. But since the invasion, that control has been challenged thanks in great part to the focus of today’s #24for24: the Russian independent, opposition media.
The relentless attacks on the free press for covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the activities of the anti-war movement have led to an exodus of hundreds of journalists from Russia. The independent TV channel TV Rain and the Novaya Gazeta newspaper were among those forced to halt their work. Radio station Ekho Moskvy, which served as a platform for some of the most critical voices in Russia, was closed down by the authorities.
Despite these limitations, every month, millions of Russians visit the sites of the Dozhd (Rain), Novaya Gazeta, and Meduza or follow them on YouTube and Telegram. Along with Radio Liberty, particularly its flagship 24-hour a day Russian-language ‘Current Time’ program, these outlets provide platforms for some of the finest essayists, opposition politicians, and independent experts inside and outside Russia.
Emerging from these writings, interviews, videos and news reports is a vision of a post-authoritarian Russia that will offer its citizens and the world more reasons to trust and more ability to verify.