"Realna Hazeta" loses audience in the occupied territories due to threats from the invaders
"Realna Hazeta", a now-relocated Luhansk publication, lost a large number of readers in the occupied territories due to threats from the invaders.
The chief editor of "Realna Hazeta", Andriy Dykhtyarenko, reported this to an IMI representative.
He said that due to the threats coming from the occupiers, the audience has started deleting their VPNs en masse and unfollowing media outlets that are blocked in the occupied territories on social media.
According to him, there have been no complaints from the audience regarding the use of Ukrainian language, but the drop in attendance was influenced by other circumstances.
"We know that they have been conducting some kind of inspections, raids targeting the state employees in the occupied territories, checking phones. We knew about it. At this time, people were deleting their VPNs en masse. Naturally, they did not visit the website, cleaned their browser history, unfollowed us on social media. This greatly affected our attendance. That is, the occupiers do not care what language people read us in. They just persecute them for it. And they make it so that no one can read us," Andriy Dykhtyarenko said.
He added that other publications from the newly occupied territories were facing the same problem.
As IMI reported, the Russian occupiers in Berdyansk began selectively searching the citizens' smartphones to check if the owner is subscribed to any Ukrainian media. In June, access to the Google search engine was blocked in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
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