‘On the edge of civil war’: Moscow-based journalist details life in Russia since Ukraine invasion

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(Video: Fox News)

A Moscow based journalist opened up about life in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine calling it “tragic” and suggesting his people are nearing “civil war.”

Kirill Martynov, deputy editor for the Novaya Gazeta, spoke with Fox News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Amy Kellogg, who is currently based in Milan, Italy. Following the law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin that threatens 15 years jail time for spreading “fake news,” Novaya Gazeta is considered the last notable independent news outlet still operating in Russia.

When prompted on the current mood in Moscow, Martynov responded, “It’s kind of tragic because we have our society collapsed and we have no economic hopes, and we also don’t see any political future for our homeland, our country.”

Because of the new laws, Martynov chided the unilateral nature of media coverage, “We have a lot of pro-war propaganda. It’s quite stupid and aggressive.”

He added that journalism is essentially dead in Russia and his society is blind because they have no information. The law prohibits describing Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “war” or “invasion” and demands “special military operation” be used instead.

Even basic reporting has led to arrests of journalists as the Novaya Gazeta posted this clip that reads in part, “In St. Petersburg, arrests began near Gostiny Dvor. In the paddy wagon are the photographer of “Novaya” Elena Lukyanova and several other journalists.”

These circumstances have lead Martynov to believe his nation’s opinion is split evenly four ways on the invasion. He determined there are supporters for the war, support for Putin in whatever he does, those who are afraid to speak and those opposed.

“I feel like all the situation has put us on the edge of civil war,” Martynov expressed, “basically because hate is rising in Russia. Propaganda feeds this hate, and we have more and more hate and distrust in Russia.”

Martynov suspects that this “hate and distrust” may also be within the ranks of Putin’s allies. “I feel like there are smart people around President Putin,” Martynov said, “and I believe that they understand pretty well what happens in Ukraine.”

“They can see the same as we are, as we still have some, some independent source of information left – YouTube, Telegram and some other social media – which was not completely blocked in Russia for now,” Martynov explained of the limited access to media. “But I fee like they have decided they are war criminals, so they can’t break this ties with Mr. Putin.”

For their part, the Novaya Gazeta has attempted to use clever ways to skirt the publishing restrictions. Refusing to use the selective language the government has approved, they’ve utilized some cryptic artistry in cover designs. The most recent cover depicts ballerinas performing “Swan Lake” in front of a mushroom cloud with the tag, “This edition of Novaya is in compliance with the changed criminal code of Russia.”

“Swan Lake” was played on a loop on Russian state television in 1991 when the Communists attempted a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. Martynov hopes this will satisfy subscribers who still want to be apprised of what is happening in Russia even if the outlet is limited on discussing the invasion.

Martynov concluded it is a highly realistic probability that the Russian federation will be dissolved at the end of the conflict and no longer exist in it’s current capacity.


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