Readovka is a media outlet which started to gain popularity through spreading news about “migrant rampages” in Russia.

**General information**

The online media outlet Readovka was founded in 2011 in Smolensk as a typical urban public forum in Russia’s main social network VKontakte. In 2014, its owner Alexey Kostylev created the Readovka website, specialising on regional news. In 2017, a federal website appeared, covering events in Russia and the world. The name Readovka comes from Readovka Park in Smolensk and from the English word “read“. In November 2020, the head office of the holding company was moved to Moscow.

Readovka’s main platform is the [Telegram channel]( of the same name, founded in 2018. In April 2022, it reached the one-million-subscriber mark and is one of the five [most quoted]( media outlets in the country. Also in March 2022, the Readovka team created a new Telegram channel, [Readovka Explains](, where the publication’s experts briefly answer questions about what is currently happening, including in Ukraine and around the world in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


At the end of 2021, the liberal outlets Novaya Gazeta and Important Stories [analyzed]( what pro-government media and write about migrants, and came to the conclusion that Readovka purposefully creates a negative image of migrants by reporting on “ethnic crime“.

Alexey Kostylev himself [insists]( that he receives no money from the Kremlin or other authorities, has no outside funding, and has been building his own infrastructure for the past seven years. Kostylev has had to justify himself for the abundance of overtly xenophobic publications by saying that there has been a huge response to the news about “the rampages of non-Russians“. “We must be expressing the unconscious, you know, of a typical Russian. A Russkiy, I would even say,“ Kostylev noted.

In February Readovka unequivocally supported Putin and the military invasion of Ukraine. However, two days after the war began, the site was blocked by the state censor Roskomnadzor. The agency decided to add the site to the register of banned sites because of a week-old post about the crimes of migrants in Kaluga Oblast.