Russian news site Mediazona says it will not comply with censorship

Mediazona said that it had tried to comply with censorship laws for years but that it refused to call Russia's invasion of Ukraine a "special operation."

Russian journalist Sergei Smirnov delivers a speech during a rally to demand authorities allow opposition candidates to run in the upcoming local election in Moscow, Russia, August 10, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)
Russian journalist Sergei Smirnov delivers a speech during a rally to demand authorities allow opposition candidates to run in the upcoming local election in Moscow, Russia, August 10, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)

Russian independent news website Mediazona announced on Monday in a series of tweets that it would no longer comply with Russian censorship, specifically a requirement to label sources as "foreign agencies" on the site and on social media.

Mediazona said that it had tried to comply with media censorship laws for years, "even the most idiotic ones," but that it refused to call Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24 a "special operation," and was therefore banned in Russia.

"We are no longer going to comply with all other crazy requirements and continue to put THIS MESSAGE," the site tweeted. "Mediazona works only for our readers and for several years continues to exist and develop thanks to your support."

Mediazona added that it lost 70% of donations in a single month and asked for readers to provide additional support to the publication.

 Service members of pro-Russian troops ride an armoured vehicle during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict near a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works company in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 12, 2022. (credit: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters) Service members of pro-Russian troops ride an armoured vehicle during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict near a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works company in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 12, 2022. (credit: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

"Only with your help will we be able to continue to work and talk about the craziest and most important things - now completely without censorship and pressure from Roskomnadzor," it added, referring to the Russian government censorship agency. "Thanks for staying with us. No war!"