Launched in 2000, the Grani.ru news website has carved itself out a unique place in the Russian media landscape, serving as an outlet for talented freelance reporters and commentators and providing a forum for the many civil society groups, human rights defenders and opposition figures who are never seen on the main TV channels.
Grani.ru has also established itself as major source of information on such subjects as free speech violations, the fate of political prisoners and street protests. Its coverage of the Ukrainian crisis has been the polar opposite of the government’s propaganda and has not gone unnoticed. It was no surprise when, in March 2014, it became the first media outlet to be blocked under the three-month-old “Lugovoi law,” which allows blocking without reference to a judge if websites are deemed to be “extremist” or “call for participation in unauthorized demonstrations.”
While doing its best to have the blocking recognized as arbitrary, Grani.ru has also made every effort to make its readers aware of the censorship circumvention tools available to them.