Long before his war in Ukraine, Putin waged war on Russian journalists: TV anchor Tikhon Dzyadko fled Russia after he received telephone death threats in the days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Alexey Kovalyev, an investigative editor, crossed into Europe in the middle of the night with “panic-packed bags” on his back and his dog in tow. Kirill Martynov, the political editor of Russia’s only remaining independent newspaper, sought refuge in Latvia with 53 other newspaper staff members.
But Putin has waged war on journalists in Russia for years, Washington Post reporter Robyn Dixon writes. In the wake of the war in Ukraine, many have had no choice but to leave the country, while dozens have found themselves labeled “foreign agents.”
“That means I’m toxic,” said Alexei Venediktov, who was editor in chief of the radio station Echo of Moscow when it was shut down in March. He escaped to Latvia. “I lost my job. I lost my company.”
Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.