Ironically, ‘VE Day’: Editors pull off anti-Putin coup

Updated on 05/09/2022 15:34

  • Ironically, on Russia’s most important holiday – “Victory Day” – two editors of a media outlet loyal to the Kremlin pulled off an anti-Putin coup.
  • One justified the protest action with one’s conscience.

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On Russia’s important ‘Victory Day’ holiday, critical articles about President Vladimir Putin briefly appeared in a media outlet that was in fact loyal to the Kremlin – and was deleted again soon after. Two editors of the online platform Lenta.ru later claimed responsibility for the protest. Now he is probably rid of his job in Lenta, former head of the economics department Yegor Polyakov told critical media outlet Mediazona. One of the short-lived articles was titled: “Putin must go. He started a senseless war and drove Russia into the abyss.

In total, about 20 such texts were briefly published on Lenta.ru, but now can only be viewed in the web archive. All contributions began with the preliminary remark that the material was not coordinated with the management of the media. In their protest, Polyakov and his colleague Alexandra Miroshnikova apparently swapped the title and text of existing articles on the site.

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High penalties for alleged ‘fake news’

“The most important reason was consciousness,” Polyakov justified. Since independent media can no longer be called in Russia without alternative internet access, he and his colleague decided to make their materials available to readers of his outlet, Polyakov said.

Nothing was initially known about the possible legal consequences of the action. In Russia, according to a relatively new law, severe penalties are provided for alleged “fake news” about the Russian armed forces.

The protest of the two editors of Lenta.ru is reminiscent of that of journalist Marina Owsyannikova, who was previously loyal to the party line and a few weeks ago found herself in the main news program of the television of Russian state with an anti-war poster shortly after the attack on Ukraine. (sbi/dpa)


Due to her protest against the war in Ukraine on Russian television, she was celebrated as a heroine. Now journalist Marina Ovsyannikova fears for her life. One thing is clear, says the mother of two: “My life has changed forever.” (Letter photo: social media/dpa)

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