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These Russian journalists who fled Russia to continue working

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Since the start of what Moscow calls the “special operation” in Ukraine on February 24, one and the same story has been imposed on the Russian media. Certain words can no longer be used without their author being accused of discrediting the military forces, and risking prison.

“We said goodbye to everyone live. We obviously cried, the emotion was unbearable.” Messy hair, crooked glasses… Denis Katayef settles in a Parisian café. This journalist is one of those who have chosen to flee to continue working, even from a distance. Indeed, since the beginning of what Moscow calls “the special operation” in Ukraine, on February 24, one and the same story has been imposed in the Russian media. Certain words can no longer be used without their author being accused of discrediting the military forces and risking prison. The country’s last independent media outlets have been blocked or suspended, and major social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, have also been blocked by authorities.

“We left to continue working”

Seated, Denis Katayef, shows an extract from the last broadcast of “Do! chtia…”. His channel then had 25 million viewers. “It’s the audience that wants to get independent information. We feel the need, it exists!”, Explains the elegant thirty-year-old in exile. “We left to continue working because it is our responsibility as a journalist.” He fled his country for France on the fourth day of the war. Its editor, Tsiconne dzadko, left for Georgia.

Many people in Russia who do not understand what is happening in Ukraine

“The world changed on February 24, you have to accept that and it’s difficult to accept that”, comments the latter. From his refuge, he creates news channels on encrypted Telegram messaging, broadcasts newspapers on YouTube. “At the beginning of the war, the Russian government said that only the Russian Ministry of Defense was able to disseminate real information [sur l’Ukraine]. There are a lot of people in Russia who don’t understand what is happening in Ukraine, who think the government’s actions are normal.”

Some 150,000 people have subscribed to his new account. A good start for him, as these new media can be hard to find on Russian soil.

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