The Barents Observer team; from left Georgii Chentemirov, Denis Zagore, Olesia Krivtsova, Thomas Nilsen, Atle Staalesen and Elizaveta Vereykina.

We need your support for running our exile-Russian newsdesk

April 30, 2024


Dear reader,

Several journalists have over the last few days been arrested in Russia, including up north in Murmansk. Some are Russian citizens, others have dual citizenship and are holders of foreign passports and have been affiliated with foreign media. 

Journalists under attack by Russia’s repressive authorities all have one thing in common. They have done nothing wrong. 

Like Sergei Karelin who now is sent to a pre-trial detention center on the Kola Peninsula. He previously collaborated with Deutsche Welle and Associated Press. Or Evan Gershkovich, the American reporter with the Wall Street Journal who has spent the last 13 months in jail accused of espionage. The Barents Observer published several of Gershkovich’s articles from the time when he worked as a journalist with The Moscow Times. We can assure, Evan ain’t no spy, but a very good reporter.

Journalism is no crime. The crime is Russia’s full-scale invasion and war of aggression against Ukraine. The crime is the crackdown on freedom of speech and independent journalism in Russia. 

Putin and his war crime compatriots know perfectly well that domestic support for the military attack on Ukraine would not be possible if free journalism existed. Independent media would easily debug Putin’s increasingly paranoid worldview that now is sending tens and tens of thousands of young Russian men to their deaths as cannon fodder.

The Barents Observer works every day to provide facts and debug the dark propaganda lies. 


We are now into our second year in a row with four exile-Russian journalists. Reporting in Russian language, for Russian readers and listeners. Georgii, Olesia, Denis and Elizaveta do a tremendously good job in telling the stories you will not find in media inside the country. Stories journalists would be arrested for inside Russia.

Of course it is difficult not to be on the inside. But with the Barents Observer’s newsroom in Kirkenes, a few kilometers outside the repressive regime’s border, we are able to make a difference. Putin is not afraid of NATO. Putin is afraid of journalists like us. Because we report the truth.

We will continue to keep independent journalism from the north coming. This costs money and hard work. 

The Barents Observer rely on your support. Thank you for giving a small donation. It means a lot to us.


Thomas Nilsen

Atle Staalesen



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