Closer Look At Genesis Of Anti-Russian Media Outlets In Russia

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Closer Look At Genesis Of Anti-Russian Media Outlets In Russia

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On February 17th, Russian state outlet RT published documents and the related investigation into the outlet “Project.Media” and more.

These outlets operate from Russia, and are openly anti-Russian, and not as independent as it would appear based on their claims.

Judging by the documents, the self-proclaimed independent media was funded from abroad in the form of so-called grants from European and American authorities.

The editors accepted the money, promising detailed reporting on audience growth, distribution of their materials and reactions to them, including in political circles.

At the same time, as it became known to RT, the founder and editor-in-chief of Project.Media, Roman Badanin, turned to his foreign sponsors not only for financial assistance, but also with a request to find him an alternative job in the United States.

Closer Look At Genesis Of Anti-Russian Media Outlets In Russia

Roman Badanin. Click to see full-size image

Proekt.Media was founded in 2018 by Roman Badanin, former deputy editor-in-chief of Gazeta.ru, former editor-in-chief of RBK and Dozhd. The online edition publishes its materials in Russian and English. Topics – political, economic and social problems in Russia.

The publication, according to documents available to RT, is managed by Proekt.Media, a legal entity registered in the United States, but a company with the same name is also in Lithuania. Both are led by Roman Badanin.

  • On May 18, 2018, the Proekt.Media domain was registered.
  • On July 18-20, documents for the American NED grant are already being processed, Badanin receives an “American TIN” and opens an account.
  • On August 1, the first material authored by Badanin is published on the Project website.
  • In 2 months, only 5 materials were published (most likely Badanin’s canned food from Dozhd, all journalists have these).
  • On September 21, a curator from NED sends Roman Badanin a package of documents for a grant.
  • On November 28, the article “The Cart from the Kremlin” comes out.
  • On December 7, Badanin boasts that they have begun to reach their design capacity. He complains that because of the text about the telegrams they paid attention to them and asks in the USA.

In particular, the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) allocated $ 240,000 to the Project, and the American National Endowment for Democracy (NED) wrote a check for $40,000. The Bermuda Sreda Foundation transferred another $ 50,000 to the publication Foundation, owned by Boris Zimin, the son of Dmitry Zimin, co-founder of VimpelCom living abroad. At the disposal of RT were supporting documents from the listed funds.

The European EED, founded by the EU member states, and the NED, funded by the US Congress, are recognized as undesirable organizations in Russia. Boris Zimin’s Sreda Foundation is also included in the register of foreign NGOs. Zimin Jr., who now lives abroad, like his father, is known as one of the most influential sponsors of Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption foundation.

In the documents examined by RT there is always a sort of testament to Project.Media as a high-quality investigative publication with high standards of professional activity. However, a number of events around the Proekt.Media and its journalists leave questions about the quality of their journalistic work and the objectivity of their materials.

Roman Badanin is now acting as a defendant in the courts in the case for the protection of business reputation in connection with the Proekt.Media material, “Mail from the Kremlin”.

It published data on the connection of businessman Vladislav Klyushin with Telegram channels, allegedly controlled by the presidential administration. Klyushin filed a lawsuit and demanded that this information be deleted, citing its inaccuracy. The district court denied Klyushin, but the appeal was canceled and Rubin and Badanin were found responsible for the dissemination of defamatory information, recovering from them compensation for moral damage in the amount of 50 thousand rubles.

After that, Rubin and Badanin filed a cassation appeal, but the deadline for filing it was missed and the appeal was returned without consideration. But the story did not end there – a new meeting was scheduled for March 2021, presumably to restore the missed deadline for filing a cassation appeal.

True independent journalism, in the flesh.

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