Russian Newspapers Turn On Putin

Russian Newspapers Turn On Putin

( – Is Russia’s president losing his grip over his country’s media? If the latest reports are true, at least one newspaper group has broken ranks and condemned the war in Ukraine.

On March 2, reports surfaced that Russian publishing group VK-Media has published an anti-war cover story in several of its newspapers. At least four papers – Vecherniy Krasnoturinsk, Vecherniy Karpinsk, Pro Severouralsk and Globus – published in the Ural region, east of Moscow, carried the headline “This madness must be stopped” on their March 2 editions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has always had an uneasy relationship with the media, and since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, he’s cracked down harshly on reporting of the conflict. Just hours after Russian tanks rolled across the border, state media regulator Roskomnadzor warned outlets that they’re only allowed to publish information that’s been verified by “official Russian sources” – in other words, government propaganda.

VK-Media seems to have ignored that order, and the potential consequences could be severe. Many journalists have already been detained by security forces while covering anti-war protests. Now, US journalist Kevin Rothrock, editor at Russian news website Meduza, says the VK-Media offices have been raided by police. Putin is still trying to crack down on all disagreement – but opposition is growing.

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