Independent Russian News Site Meduza Seeks Funds During Ukraine Invasion

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.

Read More

How Brazil’s Leader Built the Myth of Rigged Elections

By Jack Nicas, Flavia Milhorance and Ana Ionova

Produced by Gray Beltran

Leer en español

For years, President Jair Bolsonaro has been attacked by Brazil’s election systems.

One of his claims has been that apparent patterns in vote results show proof of fraud.

posters for videos
posters for videos

This is really strong evidence

that something happened,

that something was changed

in the transmission or inside.

Livestream on Jair Bolsonaro’s Facebook page, July 2021

He has repeatedly said that election officials count votes in secret, suggesting they could manipulate results.

posters for videos
posters for videos

The votes that are sent to Brasilia,

they go to a secret room!

My God. The count should be public,

but it goes to a secret room.

Livestream on Jair Bolsonaro’s YouTube page, April 2022

And he has said that he suspects hackers tried to steal the presidential election from him in 2018, but failed.

posters for videos
posters for videos

The deal with these hackers would be to

divert 12 million votes from candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

To disappear with 12 million votes.

I repeat, I don’t have proof,

and I don’t know if it is true.

But that’s the story we’re investigating.

Livestream on Jair Bolsonaro’s YouTube page, August 2021

Those claims are false, according to Brazil’s election officials, fact-checking agencies and independent election-security experts who have studied the country’s electronic voting system.

Yet in speeches, interviews and hundreds of posts on social media, the president has consistently and methodically repeated those baseless claims and many others about Brazil’s voting system.

The result has been a yearslong campaign that has undermined

Read More

Jill Biden Visits Ukraine, Meets Zelensky’s Wife, Olena Zelenska

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

Read More