Sunday, May 26, 2024

Many Russian Media Outlets Set Up Abroad Since Start of Putin’s Expanded War in Ukraine May Close for Lack of Funds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 22 – Many analysts have suggested that the exodus of as many as 1500 Russian journalists after Vladimir Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine in 2022 would ensure that a free Russian media would survive, provide news and information to the homeland, and document what is happening there for the world to see.

            (For a detailed and thoughtful discussion of the way in which this new Russian émigré media have been playing this role and one that makes the case that such media could play an even more essential role if Putin’s repression increases, see the article of Kseniya Luchenko now at the European Council of Foreign Relations at

            But many of these outlets are closing or at risk of closing, the victims of both their own overly ambitious plans that were based on the assumption that they would soon be able to return to a post-Putin Russia and the decision of Western organizations to cut back or even end the grants they had made earlier.

            The latest of these outlets to announce its closure is Ilya Krasilshchikov’s Support Service that was established with high hopes in the summer of 2022 but no longer is receiving the grants it had expected and needs to operate (

            A few émigré outlets are still in good shape either because they are financed by wealthy Russians or continue to get grants, but an increasing number are at risk – and ever more often less because of Putin’s actions than because of the decisions of Western grant-making organizations.

            Given the importance of these outlets for the Russian people and for Western understanding of what Putin is doing, it is critically important that such émigré outlets tighten their belts and prepare for the long haul and that Western grant-making institutions revisit their decisions and support the activities of this increasingly critical branch of Russian media.

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