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Russia recently blocked access to Meduza’s website as Putin signed a law threatening journalists with up to 15 years in prison for using words such as “war” and “invasion” to describe Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. The former Soviet power has also blocked Facebook and Twitter, making it even more difficult for Russians to access non-state-sponsored information about the war.
But despite the Kremlin’s attempts to censor Meduza, the news site’s mobile app is still currently accessible in Russia.
“Russians need to have information about what their government is doing and at the moment, they can’t do that if not for independent newsrooms such as Meduza,” said Leon Fryszer, publisher of the crowdfunded German news outlet Krautreporter, which is helping Meduza with its campaign.
For Fryszer, supporting the Latvia-based newsroom feels like the least he can do to ensure the Russian people, many of whom are opposed to Putin’s invasion and have publicly protested the war at great risk to themselves, obtain reliable information.
“I also care in terms of making sure there’s a path forward for Russia and that there’s a chance that one day democracy will see the light of day again,” he said. “That’s quite significant for us as Europeans.”
“I think there needs to be a counterforce to what the Kremlin is doing now, and Meduza has a good chance at being that,” Fryszer added.
HuffPost reporter Ryan Grenoble contributed reporting.
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After almost two hours in Ukraine, Biden’s motorcade returned to Slovakia.
The US first lady has been on a tour of Eastern Europe to meet with American troops and Ukrainian refugees.
Earlier on Sunday, she met with volunteers in Slovakia assisting refugees and visited another school where children were making crafts projects for Mother’s Day.
“The hearts of the American people are with the mothers of Ukraine,” Biden told the people gathered.
The classroom was full of families whose husbands and fathers have stayed behind to fight in Ukraine.
One woman told the pool reporter traveling with Biden that the first lady’s visit was encouraging.
“It means support for us,” the woman said. “We are very tired. This is emotional support for us.”
A number of American officials have visited Ukraine in recent weeks in order to show solidarity, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Also visiting the embattled country on Sunday was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who met with Zelensky in Kyiv, and U2 stars Bono and the Edge, who performed inside a train station in the capital.
But Sunday also saw yet more bloodshed in Ukraine after the bombing of a school where civilians had been sheltering in the eastern village of Bilohorivka.
A regional official said as many as 60 people were feared to have died.
“We have called out the Russians very early on for committing war crimes, and this contributed to that,” US