In response to Russian censorship, RSF launches Russian-language Telegram channel

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has launched a Russian-language channel on Telegram so that it can be more easily read by citizens in Russia, where the level of censorship of journalists and media is unprecedented since the Soviet Union’s fall and where RSF’s website has been blocked since April.

“As we are now censored in Russia, we have responded by opening our own Russian-language channel on Telegram. After launching our own ‘mirror’ site, which can be accessed within Russia without a VPN, we are providing a supplementary channel for promoting access to freely reported, reliable and independent information to Russian speakers who are living under government censorship.

Jeanne Cavelier
Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk

The “official RSF” Telegram channel will carry RSF’s press releases and comments in Russian, together with links to RSF’s “mirror” site, circumventing the blocking of the domain within Russia.

A social media platform created by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai, who have lived in self-imposed exile since 2014, Telegram is not censored in Russia, unlike such western platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Instagram.

With funding and an algorithm that is opaque, Telegram is especially popular in countries with authoritarian regimes, and is gradually supplanting TV as the leading source of information and disinformation in Russia and neighbouring countries.

Circumventing censorship

Committed to promoting independently-reported news and information, RSF offers blocked media sites the possibility of circumventing censorship via its Operation Collateral Freedom, which has been creating “mirror” sites at no charge since 2015, and now also via its Svoboda satellite TV package, launched on 5 March 2024.

RSF’s 2024 World Press Freedom Index highlights the decline in the environment for press freedom in almost all for the countries in the Europe-Central Asia region.

Subscribe to RSF’s official Russian-language Telegram channel here.

162/ 180
Score : 29.86
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