You can now use a free website to talk to Russians from Ukraine

As people and platforms are speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government has implemented several censorship measures for those residing in Russia. Earlier this month, a group of Polish programmers called Squad303 decided to circumvent this problem by publishing, a website that allows individuals to contact those residing in Russia.

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“A nation which must pay an enormous price because of the shameful decision of the dictator Putin to attack an independent Ukraine by armed forces. The joint action of all the States of the free world, in response to the aggression of Russia , will lead to the collapse of the whole country,” the website says on its homepage. “However, nearly 150 million Russians do not know the truth about the causes or course of the war in Ukraine. It is fueled by the lies of Kremlin propaganda. There is no free media in Russia and the internet is censored.”

Related: Amid Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Facebook and Instagram ease some restrictions on hate speech

As first reported by the the wall street journal, randomly generates a number or email address for users from a database that contains about 20 million cell phone numbers and nearly 140 million email addresses. Anyone in the world can attempt to contact the phone number or email address, with the option of sending a pre-written message in Russian telling people that their media is censored.

“Our goal was to break through Putin’s digital wall of censorship and ensure that the Russian people are not completely cut off from the world and the reality of what Russia is doing in Ukraine,” a spokesperson for Squad303. the wall street journal.

Russia’s social media crackdown has cut off many opportunities for people in the country to get information beyond its borders. Russian regulators have restricted platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the country, and are even considering labeling Facebook an “extremist organization”.

Related: What you can do to help Ukraine: A list of top-rated relief organizations and additional resources

About William G. Patrick

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