Sputnik i Pogrom

“Sputnik & Pogrom” is the most prominent nationalist media outlet in Russia, launched in 2012 by Yegor Prosvirnin.

The name of the publication was born out of a joke and is a synthesis of common Russisms (Russian words that have entered many languages of the world without translation “and have become part of the universal field of meaning”) – sputnik and pogrom. “Sputnik and Pogrom” was launched as a community in the Russian social network VKontakte, later creating a separate site. It was distinguished from similar resources by its progressive design; the main product of “Sputnik & Pogrom” is long texts about historical events and inter-ethnic conflicts. The goal of the publication is declared to be the transformation of Russia into a national state for the Russian people, a transition to European standards and basic principles, among which are democracy, equality of all before the law, separation of powers, and the principle “the state for Russians, not Russians for the state. Since October 2013, Sputnik and Pogrom has operated under a paid subscription model, and the number of subscribers has not been disclosed. “If you want to be Russian, you have to pay,” Prosvirnin said.

**Prominence and blocking**

In November 2013, Duma deputy Mikhail Markelov asked the Prosecutor General’s Office and Roskomnadzor to check the site for extremism. Evgeny Velikhov, secretary of the Public Chamber, made the same request.

“Sputnik and Pogrom” became nationally known on May 19, 2013, when the website and Prosvirnin personally were advertised by NTV channel described Sputnik and Pogrom’s position as “nationalism with a human face”. And on February 17, 2014, Russia-1 TV channel showed an interview with Prosvirnin.

Later in 2014, the publication supported the annexation of Crimea to Russia and the republics of Donbass. According to the editorial board, hundreds of the site’s readers left to fight in eastern Ukraine; in addition, according to Yegor Prosvirnin, the publication used crowdfunding to raise money for an APC for the Donbass militia. In spring 2014, famous Russian journalist Oleg Kashin cooperated with the website.

On September 17, 2015, Yegor Prosvirnin’s apartment was searched as part of the criminal case initiated over an article posted on Sputnik and Pogrom, but investigators were unable to prove his connection to the website. On July 6, 2017, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation reported that “nationalist information resources,” including Sputnik and Pogrom, had been uncovered. The site was blocked, but its groups in social networks worked as before. On December 27, 2021, the site’s founder Yegor Prosvirnin died