Instagram restores investigative news outlet’s account after brief suspension following ‘undesirable’ designation in Russia

The investigative news outlet Proekt had its Instagram page restored, roughly a day after editor-in-chief Roman Badanin reported that the social network had permanently suspended his team’s account for supposedly violating community guidelines.

Proekt briefly lost its Instagram page, about two days after the Russian authorities outlawed the news website’s U.S.-based publisher, “Project Media, Inc,” designating it as an “undesirable organization.” A day later, Proekt announced that it is cutting all ties to this entity and plans to continue conducting journalism. It is unclear if police in Russia will see Proekt’s new publishing arrangement as exculpatory. 

In late June, state officials raided the homes of several Proekt journalists in connection with defamation charges filed years earlier by a businessman in St. Petersburg. These raids coincided with Proekt’s release of an investigative report about alleged connections between Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev’s relatives and members of the mafia.

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