Saturday, September 1, 2018

Crowd-Funding Takes Away a Kremlin Weapon – Death by Fines

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 1 – The Putin regime may have lost one of its favorite ways of closing down media outlets it doesn’t like – the imposition of fines that these outlets haven’t been able to pay and that Western observers often dismiss as something other than the repressive measures they are.

            Last week, a Russian court imposed an 800,000-ruble (11,000 US dollars) fine on the 7x7 news agency, an independent online resource that covers developments in Russia’s regions and republics that Moscow would prefer to remain uncovered. That fine, the Kremlin clearly calculated would be sufficient to close the outlet.

            But the powers that be were wrong. 7x7 journalists launched an online crowd-funding ever and with 24 hours had collected more than 840,000 rubles from its supporters.  That is more than enough to pay the fine and ensure that the agency can continue to function, at least until the regime comes up with another tactic (

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