Journalists Yegor Polyakov and Alexandra Miroshnikova, who work for the Russian online newspaper Lenta.ru, told CNN that the idea for publishing critical articles about Russian President Vladimir Putin came about because of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Couldn’t keep up. .
The articles were published on May 9 on the pro-Kremlin news outlet Lenta.ru in Russia. It was on the eve of Russia’s Victory Day, an important national holiday in the country celebrating the surrender of the Nazis in Berlin during World War II.
The two journalists published several headlines, such as “Putin launches one of the bloodiest wars of the 21st century” and “Vladimir Putin lied about Russia’s plans in Ukraine.”
“The idea came to us at about the same time,” they both told CNN in a statement. “We didn’t even have to talk to each other about the need for this decision. It was impossible to continue working normally when people were dying in the neighboring country.”
“Some people say, ‘We had no choice but to continue working,'” the statement said. “We had no choice but to do what we did. That was the only right decision for us.”
Fearing reprisals against their families in Russia, the two journalists will not go into details about how they published the articles. But he said he has been working hard since last week, sleeping only two to five hours a day.
“The articles we’ve published aren’t just captivating headlines, they’re well thought out content, with all the links, with visual entries,” they both said.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
“It could have serious consequences for us,” he said – but added that he hoped others in Russia would be encouraged to do the same. For now, both say they are no longer in Russia.
“I don’t know what’s next,” Miroshenkova said. “I am in another country, completely alone, I have some small savings to live in for a few months. But I do not know what to do, where to go and how to live. Hopefully I can I’ll find out. ”
While both have received positive feedback from some readers thanking and sheltering them, others – peers and family members – have been less supportive.
“For me personally, the situation is very difficult, because many of my relatives did not accept my decision at all,” Miroshenkova said. “Someone thought it was a hoax, someone just thought it was stupid, which would leave me without a job and a future.”