Roman Badanin

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Hace seis meses, fui obligado a abandonar mi casa en Rusia para evitar una pena de prisión. ¿Mi crimen? Ser un periodista independiente. Tres años atrás, fundé un portal de periodismo de investigación llamado Proekt. Esto nos valió a mí y a mi equipo el atraer, con toda su fuerza, al aparato represivo instaurado por Vladímir Putin para silenciar a los medios críticos.

Primero nos acusaron de difamación.

Después, y tras haber sido detenidos e interrogados varias veces, Proekt fue declarada una "organización indeseable". La mayoría de mis empleados, incluyéndome a mí, fuimos tildados de "agentes extranjeros". Nuestra empresa está registrada en los Estados Unidos, por lo que los salarios percibidos por nuestros empleados cuentan como financiación extranjera.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Western newspapers and magazines published the Pandora Papers earlier this month, the Russian state media were happy to report on the revelations about the dubious financial dealings of celebrities and politicians — as long as they involved Russia’s enemies (such as the president of Ukraine).

But there was one topic that Russian broadcasters scrupulously avoided: the allegations that people in the entourage of Vladimir Putin had channeled tens of millions of dollars to a woman named Svetlana Krivonogikh, alleged to be one of the Russian president’s romantic partners — and the mother of one of his children.

Ever since he rose to the top of the Russian political system, Putin has made it clear that he is determined to shield his family and closest friends from public scrutiny — and that anyone who violates this unwritten law will pay dearly.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police detain a journalist holding a poster that reads "We will not stop being journalists" during picketing in Moscow on Aug. 21. (Denis Kaminev/AP)

“This message was created by foreign mass media performing the function of a foreign agent”. Under Russian law, this is what I have to write every time I publicly post anything online — whether it’s a cat photo on Instagram, a birthday wish for a friend or this article. I have no other choice — because I’m a journalist.

If I fail to include such a disclaimer — or if I commit one of the many other possible violations of the Russian foreign agent law meant to silence freedom of the press and freedom of speech — I risk going to prison.…  Seguir leyendo »