Russian newspaper’s website crashes after publishing op-ed from journalist charged with treason

Hours after the newspaper Vedomosti published an op-ed by imprisoned journalist Ivan Safronov, the page hosting his text suddenly became inaccessible. Not long thereafter, Vedomosti’s entire website crashed. According to communications director Guzel Khairetdinova, the newspaper is under DDoS attack. She told Meduza that the attack is targeting Vedomosti’s entire website, not just a single text. “The whole site is down and our technical team is doing everything it can to restore it,” she explained.

A hyperlink to Safronov’s op-ed is still available on Vedomosti’s Telegram channel. In the essay, he argues that unfair quotas and pervasive laziness in Russian law enforcement drive investigators to prosecute innocent people for treason and espionage.

Update: Vedomosti’s website is up and running again, but Safronov’s op-ed has been unpublished.

On July 13, 2021, after holding Safronov in pretrial detention for more than a year, the Russian government formally charged him with treason. Federal investigators reportedly believe he passed classified information to Czech intelligence agents working on behalf of the United States. Safronov maintains his innocence and says he has refused all offered plea bargains.

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