Meet the real Russia, today: Riga-based Meduza project launches English version

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2015/02/03 • News

Article by: Kirill Mikhailov

Russian media in the west have mostly been represented by pro-Kremlin state-financed news outlets, like the infamous Russia Today, the English versions of RIA Novosti and Tass, and more recently Sputnik International. These media, claiming to show “the Russian perspective”, actually push Putin’s agenda, criticizing the West and Ukraine, while mostly overlooking the real human rights issues inside Russia. With Riga-based Meduza project launching its English version, this is about to change.

Meduza.io, founded by recent Russian expats in Riga, Latvia, traces its origins back to Lenta.ru, founded back in 1999 as one of the first Russian web-based media outlets and once proudly claiming the strongest online audience among Russian media, in part due to extensive coverage of Russian 2011-2012 pro-democracy protests and the 2013-2014 Ukrainian revolution. Lenta.ru’s history took a dramatic turn in March 2014 when a controversial interview with a member of the Ukrainian right-wing organization “Right Sector” forced the hand of Russian state censorship, leading to a change of management and the old journalistic guard resigning en masse. Fleeing, in their own words, “the occupied Lenta.ru,” the team found refuge in various independent outlets and social media. The faithful audience was outraged at the rapid deterioration of lenta.ru’s material under the new management, complaining that they “didn’t know what to read now.”

7 months later, they finally had something to read again. At least, that’s what Meduza, a new project headed by Lenta.ru’s old editor Galina Timchenko, claimed in one of its slogans. Apart from in-house reporting, Meduza gathered links and summaries of the most resonating Russian and foreign articles from various outlets – partially due to lack of staff. Launching on October 20, by 2015 Meduza boasted an audience of 2 million – a fraction of Lenta.ru’s former following.

Today, on February 2, Meduza’s staff aimed to reach out to foreign audience, launching an English version of their website. The outlet covers a broad range of subjects, from the conflict in Eastern Ukraine to Russian culture news and reports on LGBT prosecution and a renewed Stalin-esque spy hunt.

A screenshot of Meduza's English version

A screenshot of Meduza’s English version

Meduza’s crew describes themselves as “Russia’s free press in-exile”. “We want people to have a place to read normal news in English, not those made by Russia Today and Sputnik,” Konstantin Benyumov, the English Meduza’s editor-in-chief, told a Russian Internet news project Tjournal.

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Meduza’s promotional poster, as seen on Twitter

Perhaps one feature that could seem the most foreign to Meduza’s new audience is the tongue-in-cheek approach to social network accounts – another tradition of the late Lenta.ru, whose Twitter team pioneered a radically new, sarcastic approach to social media management, now widely followed by Russian media.

 

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  • https://disqus.com/ Mixa

    The New Ukraine Is Run by
    Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs..

    ▁ ▂ ▃ ▅ ▆ █
    http://observer.com/2015/01/the-new-ukraine-is-run-by-rogues-sexpots-warlords-lunatics-and-oligarchs/#ixzz3Qf3B9NIw

    ▁ ▂ ▃ ▅ ▆ █
    http://youtu.be/VtozHiO8J5k

    • Dirk Smith

      The New Russia is run by fascist oligarchs and thugs.

      • Milton Devonair

        Boy, lil putin even looks like a little chimpanzee. No wonder the russians adore him. Probably bring down the price of bananas in russia.

        • Vierotchka

          Фак ю!

        • https://disqus.com/ Mixa

          Don’t play with fire.

    • Milton Devonair

      is your mom back from putin’s dacha yet?

    • Michel Cloarec

      And russia is run by mafia
      (photo: the boss of the bosses) So you can have on the wall in your bedroom ! Happy I hope, say thank you !
      Has more power than finance minister !

  • Brent

    Hi Stooge! I see you like the murderous tyrants club and are sorry to see the likes of Hussein and Qadaffi no longer with us. Hopefully that murderous tyrant Assad will soon be able to join them. And you admire the newest pariah leader, Putin. What a surprise. Innocent Ukrainian citizens and naive Russian soldiers are being slaughtered because of Putin’s illegal war on Ukraine, but you’re probably admiring how much blood they have on their hands.

    Glad to see how much you hate Meduza. I guess you just proved it is effective.

    I always find it funny how you ‘useful idiots’ cry about the ‘evil liberal West’ while working on Western developed technology, wearing Western style clothing and living under the freedoms and liberties of the ‘evil Liberal West’.

    If you really support Russia, move there. Depardieu could used some new ‘clients…..

    • Milton Devonair

      как лжец и тролль ты будешь до последнего отрицать очевидное
      дегенерат

      • Vierotchka

        Пшёл вон!

        • https://disqus.com/ Mixa

          Это сайт американских ультранаци и для них лучший аргумент это ракета Булава или Тополя.

          • StumpedNoMore2

            Where’s your supervisor? I only want to talk/deal with him or her. I have no time for rookies. I have talked with “fake is fake” on bloomberg already and I want to talk with the supervisory level.

          • Milton Devonair

            the little lice infested russian kids don’t have a supervisor–just an older, male handler. They learned to like older men like medvedev and putin at their nashi camps.
            Weird culture those primitive russians.

          • LorCanada

            Miguel, don’t you know that Ukraine is a SOVEREIGN NATION with every right to decide its own destiny without the meddlesome interference of Russia or any other country, and this is according to International Law.

            Donbas is situated in Ukraine, not Russia, so Putin has no business intruding on the “internal affairs” of Ukraine. In other words, as our Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said to Putin at the G20 Summit in Australia: “YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF UKRAINE.” Is Pootie listening?

            By the way, I’d just like to see Putin try that trick on China, of protecting Russia speakers living in China and him crossing the border to bring them guns, tanks, etc. I’m sure the Chinese military would blow Putin out of the sky, or water, or ground!

          • Milton Devonair

            russian, your comment “oil war” shows you are nothing but a little, festering boil on humanity, just like all the rest of your diseased russians.

            if you apes stop getting your crumbs from your putin, will you go back to begging government for handouts and be quiet again?
            He lowered the price of your radiator fluid/vodka, the ‘mothers milk’ of russia, so that should shut up a generation or two of ya’ll….

          • StumpedNoMore2

            Look at my counter arguments to his. He only wants to see what he wants to see. To him this is a game but for me this is people losing their lives.

          • Milton Devonair

            Unfortunately, such is the case with a lot of people these days, especially younger ones. Their lives are two dimensional, so they lack empathy for others as they don’t exist.

          • StumpedNoMore2

            Alright, I’m not going to call you a troll — Western Conspiracy Theorist. You point the US invaded Iraq and it was wrong. I get it and I even wrote an essay on it for one of the college classes that there was not enough justification for the war in Iraq.

            So Russia invading Ukraine is not wrong? You seems to like pointing all of the wrong doings of the US but when Russia does it it is all right. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it. Do you know who Iraq is selling their oil to? I can tell you it wasn’t to the benefit of the American but rather the Chinese.

            I have seen this episode of protecting one’s interest and it started WWII. Buzzing the Baltic States is national interest? Parking submarines in Sweden is national interest? Flying nuclear armed bomber in the English Channel is national interest? Invading Ukraine and Georgia is national interest? Controlling Kurile Island and transnistria is national interest? At this rate, we should give up it all to Russia.

            So in your mind, Sweden, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Japan, Baltic States, Poland, Finland, and many others don’t have national interest? We might add Belarus to this as well. The differences between you and I is that I treat all of them as separate cases not jumbo them into one big mess.

            You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.

            Malcolm X

            Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/world/middleeast/china-reaps-biggest-benefits-of-iraq-oil-boom.html?pagewanted=all

            Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/scared-ukraine-war-belarus-strongman-lukashenko-mulls-ditching-russia-1801070

          • StumpedNoMore2

            So Ukraine can’t protect it own interest but Russia can? I would think Sweden, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic States would like to protect their own interest as well. Even Belarus wants to protect its own interest. Even China.

            So for Ukraine to protect its own interest, I am all for sending the Ukrainians all of the “supplies” that they need to protect their own interest. I am a fair man but I don’t know about you though. This world is more than the US and Russia. Everybody else live in it too.

          • Miguel Francis Santiago

            Learn how your minds have been brainwashed and by whom, from 7 Americans and 1 Ukrainian. Starring Aaron Hawkins (SCG), Naomi Wolf, Eric Draitser, Robert Parry, Peter Joseph, Anatoly Shariy and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmOMnCflJMo

        • Milton Devonair

          your mom back from cleaning the apparatchiks toilets yet?

        • LorCanada

          Yes, isn’t it a shame that we have all gone to seed! tsk tsk

          I’ve also set down a few facts to counter your assertions so you are free to believe what you wish. It’s a free country here.

        • Milton Devonair

          Only a drunken russian ape with a fried brain would find your putin-babble “facts”.
          god you’re soooooo russian.
          No wonder russia always has been a cesspool and have to invade other, clean countries, then scr*ew them up, ya know, ‘russification’…

      • Vierotchka

        Что такое очевидно что вы не знаете факт если факт нарезанный кубиками и поджаренный во фритюре и насильно кормили вам ваши гениталии! Мудак!

    • StumpedNoMore2

      Brent, we have on this page the following as I have posted on the troll page:

      1.) Western conspiracy theorist
      2.) Script and picture poster
      3.) Russian troll who likes to insult

      Tactics they like to employed
      1.) Claiming their info is correct without any creditable info to back it up.
      2.) Insults
      3.) Changing the subject
      4.) Posting in Russian
      5.) Flood the comment section
      6.) Post pictures or fake info.

    • Kruton

      Death to Bolshevik boot lickers!

    • LorCanada

      Miguel, buddy, we all know Putin’s personal net worth is around $42 BILLION DOLLARS! How do you think he got that? Guess! Also include his oligarch cronies who are all billionaires and living the high life in the West!
      ———
      As for the snipers at Maidan, see this info:

      At the height of the protests, activists took to social media to claim they were the targets of government snipers. Some experts believe these were Russian-backed operators. A ‘Daily Beast’ report on Sunday linked photographs of snipers operating in Maidan Square to a local elite force with ties to the Soviet-era KGB.

      ———-

      As for Russian soldiers – there was a group of paratroopers who were captured in east Ukraine and then interviewed on video. Have you not seen that? You should, you know, before displaying ignorance of what is going on.

      See also the “Mothers of Russian soldier sons” who are complaining they don’t know what happened to their sons, no word from them but Russian authorities are silent. Why? Because sly Putin still denies, denies, and denies there are Russian soldiers fighting in east Ukraine. But no one believes Pootie anymore.

      There’s an interesting writeup dated Sept 2014:
      “Mothers looking for sons told to keep quiet:”

      You can do a google search for this heading:
      over-2000-bodies-of-russian-soldiers-killed-in-donbas-arrive-to-russia/

      • Vierotchka

        None of what you posted is true!

        • LorCanada

          Well Vierotchka, that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it since we live in a free country. I hope you have done your research.

        • Milton Devonair

          I know comrade, nothing that santiago chimp or any other russian butt bot posts is true…but it’s what they are paid to vomit out on the internet, so it’s what those kids do.

          I mean, there are exactly how many jobs in the cesspool called ‘russia’? Other than homosexual prostitution with the russian army and apparatchiks?

        • Michel Cloarec

          The truth is out there ! Ask CIA ?

    • Charles J. Kollman

      I agree 100%

  • Vierotchka

    What a load of utterly disgusting mendacious crap!

    • Milton Devonair

      how many of you paid russian apes have different accounts here?
      Isn’t it funny you little monkeys have to use the technology and tools of others, of humans to spread the disease that is called ‘russia’?

      We humans laugh at you little apes. But at least you can type, one finger at a time, the other up your nose…..

  • Milton Devonair

    “petrodollar US hegemony”
    lmao. He clownboy, take a break from liking putin’s clown shoes for a moment and look around to see who is buying up your daddy’s rubles…….

    ape.

    • Vierotchka

      What an idiotic and detestable comment which reflects its maker’s utterly primitive and totally devolved reptilian mind! Grow up, amoeba!

      • Kruton

        Death to all Bolshevik child killers!

      • Milton Devonair

        why is no one emigrating to your russian cesspool you ill trained little bolshevik worm? The only creatures going to russia are the central asian muslims, leaving their countries and their caves to go to a slightly more area of advanced cave dwellers in st petersberg.

        And even they laugh at how primitive you russians are……

  • Vierotchka

    Do you know what happens if you look at Medusa? You get turned into stone. What happens if you believe Meduza’s lies? Your heart turns into stone and your soul is annihilated.

    • Milton Devonair

      chimpette, are you getting paid rubles per post or per hour of being an internet putin boi?

      • Vierotchka

        Listen, amoeba, I am a free thinker and well aware of what is really happening – neither of which are you.

  • Milton Devonair

    Another one–a few russians escaped, so they evolved into humans:
    http://imrussia.org/en/analysis

    • Vierotchka

      Profoundly mendacious, racist and detestable comment, and website.

      • Milton Devonair

        god you russian apes are so stupid and ignorant. You monkeys think that humans are as ignorant as you russians are, so we will respond in the same manner to lies as you apes do.

        go eat a banana and mumble some drunken praise of the continued russian rape of humanity.
        you apes are a disease to humans.

        • Vierotchka

          Uncouthness is the prerogative of the weak and cowardly.

          • Milton Devonair

            coming from a licker of russian boots, that carries about as much weight as a gnat in space.
            just like you.

  • Vierotchka

    In Greek mythology Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon,generally described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazing directly into her eyes would turn onlookers to stone.

    An adult jellyfish is a medusa (plural: medusae), named after Medusa, the mythological creature with snakes for hair who could turn humans to stone with a glance. Medusae sting their prey using nematocysts, also called cnidocysts, stinging structures located in specialized cells called cnidocytes, which are characteristic of all Cnidaria. Contact with a jellyfish tentacle can trigger millions of nematocysts to pierce the skin and inject venom. They can be lethal.

    What an apt name for such a project and organization!

    • Milton Devonair

      aparachik boi, your mom’s going to come home soon. Open the broken down door of your st. petersberg flat and let the tired old russian in. She’s single as there are no males worth anything in russia because they are all drunken apes that start to die off in their 20s.

      No wonder russian women want to come to America and want to meet American men. Our old weird men are still far better than the drunken russian male apes that line the gutters of st. petersberg and moscow……

  • Kruton

    I also support the Bolshevik child rapist Putler!

  • LorCanada

    Are you not aware that Putin pours some $300 Million $$$, annually I believe, into his Russia media propaganda machine that spouts DISINFORMATION 24/7 over the internet, the news sources, and beyond. He even has an Awards event where he rewards his faithful hacksters for spreading false writeups, videos, photos, etc., all aimed at creating an enemy No. 1 out of the big, bad, boogeyman of the West: USA.

    USA is 2-1/2 times bigger in population than Russia so if there happens to be a greater amount of anything illegal just keep that in mind. Russia has 143.3 million population and USA has approximately 317 million people.

    As to “dumbing down”, how about this cute caption to a Putin cartoon:

    “Mr. Putin washes your brain whiter than white
    Eliminates 99.9% of neurons”

  • Brent

    You complain that 6 corporations own 99% of America’s media. That may be correct but is that better or worse than one “corporation” THE KREMLIN, controlling all of Russia’s media?

    That is exactly what this article, that you decided to post on, is all about. How anyone who dissents, who doesn’t abide by the Kremlin propaganda machine, has to disband and set up outside of Russia.

    Here’s some examples of the propaganda Russia has used against Ukraine in Russia’s illegal terrorist war

    • Guest

      You know what Brent, I’m just about to ready to stop talking to you because you HAVE NOT BEEN IN DONBAS, AND I HAVE, AND I SAW THE PEOPLE WHO ARE HIDING OUT IN THEIR BASEMENTS AS WE CAME UNDER SHELLING ON DONETSK, SHELLING BY THE UKRAINIAN ARMY.

      And here again is another educationally piece for you by an INDEPENDENT, AMERICAN media source.

    • Miguel Francis Santiago

      You know what Brent, I’m just about to ready to stop talking to you because you HAVE NOT BEEN IN DONBAS, AND I HAVE, AND I SAW THE PEOPLE WHO ARE HIDING OUT IN THEIR BASEMENTS AS WE CAME UNDER SHELLING ON DONETSK, SHELLING BY THE UKRAINIAN ARMY.

      And here again is another educationally piece for you by an INDEPENDENT, AMERICAN media source.

  • Brent

    and a few more….

    • Miguel Francis Santiago

  • Brent

    and more….I could go on all night!!! The Russian media you defend really likes to tell all kinds of incredible lies….”Putin’s Fables”…..

    • Miguel Francis Santiago

      Nuff said. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b67OGUsQC44

      Watch this and educate yourself. And before you write about Russian media, local media fakes, just remember that ALL OF UKRAINIAN CHANNELS right now, are not just propagandizing the situation but are simply composing their broad casts of INJECTED FAKES, and nothing more nothing less.

      • MikeZapasnoi

        Oh yeah, MH17! It was shot by Ukrainian strike aircraft! Here are the proofs! Here is a mechanic that saw a plane returning without a rocket! Here is Zakharchenko himself who saw how the Boeing was shot by Ukrainian strike aircraft! Here are satellite images of the exact attack moment!

        (few months later) It was shot by Ukrainian BUK! Here are the proofs!!

        Hey, what about all the “proofs” for a strike aircraft? What about “satellite images”? What about a “witness”? What about Zakharchenko who “saw” how the Boeing was shot?

        So here is one question: if Russia was innocent then WHY THE FCUK they created and spread out all those fakes? Including Russian Defence Ministry with an OFFICIAL STATEMENT that it was Ukrainian strike aircraft? Why panic if they were innocent?

        But yeah, I know it’s too complicated: it requires some thinking by yourself, not just absorbing that bullshit from the TV :)

  • Brent

    Hey Miggy, you need to take a breath…or learn to use paragraphs.

    First of all, your take on Maidan is incorrect. It is an insult to the Ukrainian people who are fighting for Ukraine that you credit the CIA.

    >Maidan started as a protest BY STUDENTS, who were upset Victor Yanukovych refused to sign the EU Association agreement that Ukraine had been negotiating with the EU for several years. This happened in November of 2013

    >the STUDENT PROTESTORS were camped out in Maidan and sleeping in their tents, when the Berkut attacked these unarmed students. Many had to flee for shelter in local churches.

    >this attack incited more Ukrainians to join the protests, and eventually up to 800,000 were at Maidan. One of the largest in European history.

    >eventually, these unarmed protesters were attacked by the Berkut officers The protest went from peaceful, to violent. Close to 100 people died, many at the hand of snipers. Snipers in Berkut uniforms with government issued rifles.

    Yanukovych fled Ukraine. This was not some fictitious CIA sponsored Victoria Nuland’s cookies fed U.S. plot to overthrow the government.

    >Yanukovych was very corrupt. He gutted the constitutional powers of the parliament and gave all the power to the President. >his son, a dentist, amassed a fortune worth over $500 million in the 3+ years Yanukovych was President. That’s a lot of gold teeth, don’t you think?

    If Yanukovych is the legitimate President of Ukraine, why is he hiding in Russia? Why is Putin protecting him? Why is Putin negotiating with Poroshenko and not Yanukovych?

    So you can sit there and scream at others for not looking at the FACTS, or maybe you can look at some facts yourself.

    BTW, why would a hispanic American all of the sudden start commenting on a site about Ukraine politics? I’m always curious what drives people to these sites. Especially those that would not seem to have any interest or link to these events. Usually, those British or Hispanic names end up being some Russian troll in disguise and they quickly disappear as soon as they appeared….

    I could send you a bunch of photos of Russian troops and exclusive Russian used military equipment turning up in Donbas, but I’d like you to first read this article about Maidan, and then the photos I posted to you showing how ridiculous the propaganda coming out of the Kremlin has been…remember that’s ONE RUSSIAN ‘CORPORATION’ controlling all of their media….

    http://34mag.net/post/timeline-of-the-ukrainian-revolution/

    • StumpedNoMore2

      Brent, this fool is claiming this and that. Claiming conspiracy here and there. I’m wondering what heck is this guy smoking. He is claiming this and that of the Ukrainian people but this fool hasn’t even been on the ground in Ukraine. And he is talking getting throw our heads.

      In addition, he is talking about popular media being infested with corporations. What is his news source? The local conspiracy theorist? Must be the same guy who believed in Bigfoot and alien something.

      You see how he changed his tune from national interest to full flight conspiracy now?

      • Miguel Francis Santiago

        I’ve been to Ukraine. I’ve been to Crimea, I’ve been to Donbas. I’m an American born, Russian-Hispanic, my dad is Chilean my Mom is from Moscow, my grad grandmother on my Moms side is from Kiev. Does that answer your question? The only channel that bought what I saw was RT, because I saw the ground, I saw that there is no Russian Army, I saw the Ukrainian passports fightings for the Separatists. Check out my doc on RT, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV1dHMEft8k

        And don’t you speak about Berkut, I spoke to Berkut, I spoke to the men of Berkut who were there, they tried to contain and disperse the protests, just like Occupy WallStreet was contained by setting up mobile cages and keeping occupy protesters there overnight in NY. I see no problem with police containing disruptive protesters who don’t know wtf they’re protesting for because they have no clue what the hell is Europe or the West.

        NED sponsored the coup, this is obvious. With its CIA connections and the mass media machine. Just look at NED OFFICIAL website right now, isn’t it obvious to you? Don’t you see it? http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/ukraine

        CIA saw the opportunity with those students, and got on top of it all, with production support, Victoria’s cookies as you mentioned, and McCains visit, I mean isn’t that enough for you to understand who was behind it? The I’m Ukrainian videos sponsored by NEDs Larry Diamond, who sat on the board of directors for Council on Froeign Relations. Hold on for a couple of weeks, my new film #WarForYourMind is coming out on RT World, that will be a kicker to all you aggressive, uneducated on the subject, brainwashed people. Relax and enjoy, the dystopian wet dream of the foreign policy advisor to the last 4 presidents of the United States AND Obama’s personal mentor (according to Obama himself) Zbignew Bzrezinski’s dream of an NWO and Russian containment is being played out right now. But the problem is, we’re playing with fire and it ain’t gonna end good.

    • Scradje

      Excellent comment Brent.

  • StumpedNoMore2

    Let me give you a 101 lesson. What country does Crimea belongs to? What country does Donbas belong to? Who took Crimea and then denied for a couple of month and then admitted. Since you want an unbaised source, I’ll give you RT. Let me ask you who was directing rebel commands? Strelkov. What nationality is Strelkov? Don’t take my words for it but please take his word for it.

    Source: http://rt.com/news/crimea-defense-russian-soldiers-108/

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-04/russian-fire-starter-says-putin-now-hostage-to-ukraine-war?cmpid=yhoo

  • Guest

    LGBT “rights”? WTF? Another shtty libby website.

  • MikeZapasnoi

    Oh boy, too many “real Russia” websites these days :) Here is another one: http://realrussiatoday.com :)

  • Miguel Francis Santiago

    Starring Aaron Hawkins (SCG), Naomi Wolf, Eric Draitser, Robert Parry, Peter Joseph, Anatoly Shariy and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmOMnCflJMo