“Radio Free Russia” project could help establish hub for Russian journalists in Prague

Hundreds of independent Russian journalists who fear being prosecuted by the Kremlin could benefit from a new project being set up by Czech Vice President of the European Commission Věra Jourová. Called “Radio Free Russia”, it would include financial and legal support and could even help the establishment of a hub for Russian reporters in Prague.

The current editor-in-chief of the English language newspaper Moscow Times, Andrei Shmarov, lived in Russia for over 30 years before the country launched its invasion of Ukraine last year. But he decided to leave and move to Amsterdam after the Kremlin introduced legislation that targeted independent journalists last March.

“Putin signed a decree that everyone who said unauthorised sayings was viable for a jail term of up to 15 years. Basically that’s when we had to make a choice because it was too dangerous…It was in a space of like two days that we had to make this decision. People left their families, houses, children, wives.”

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Authors: Thomas McEnchroe, Zdeňka Trachtová