In recent years, the Russian government has dramatically expanded its restrictions on the internet, while simultaneously consolidating its grip on traditional media. The internet, however, because of its transnational configuration, continues to evade comprehensive state control and offers ever new opportunities for disseminating and consuming dissenting opinions. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including media law, human rights, political science, media and cultural studies, and the study of religion, this book examines the current state of the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and media freedom in Russia, focusing on digital media and cross-media initiatives that bridge traditional and new media spheres. It assesses how the conditions for free speech are influenced by the dynamic development of Russian media, including the expansion of digital technologies, explores the interaction and transfer of practices, formats, stylistics and aesthetics between independent and state-owned media, and discusses how far traditional media co-opt strategies developed by and associated with independent media to mask their lack of free expression. Overall, the book provides a deep and rich understanding of the changing structures and practices of national and transnational Russian media and how they condition the boundaries of freedom of expression in Russia today.

chapter |14 pages


Freedom of expression in Russia’s new mediasphere

part I|24 pages

Frameworks for freedom of expression in Russia’s new media

chapter 2|18 pages

The blacklisting mechanism

New-school regulation of online expression and its technological challenges

chapter 3|17 pages

Formation of media policy in Russia

The case of the Iarovaia law

part III|24 pages

New media and fragmented audiences

chapter 7|24 pages

Challenging the ‘information war’ paradigm

Russophones and Russophobes in online Eurovision communities

chapter 8|27 pages

Reconsidering media-centrism

Latvia’s Russian-speaking audiences in light of the Russia–Ukraine conflict

chapter 9|21 pages

Sputnik i Pogrom

Russia’s oppositional nationalism and alternative right

part IV|18 pages

Tactics of control and subversion

chapter 10|18 pages

Imprisoned for a ‘like’

The criminal prosecution of social media users under authoritarianism

chapter |5 pages