— We cover life in Krasnodar and Krasnodar Krai. Our publication is neither pro-opposition nor pro-state, we write, remaining true to facts, about what is happening in the region and how it affects people’s lives. The media has existed for a long time, and by regional standards it has quite a large audience. Among their readers are the [Krasnodar] administration and representatives of various departments.
Yuga.ru has always followed an advertisement-based model which has probably transformed in a way over time with the development of the internet and new formats, more and more companies have been coming there, and social networks emerged. We have no investors, no sponsors, and no source of income other than advertising.
Over almost 21 years of work, we have gone through different periods. There were times when we paid salaries late. In 2019 and early 2020, we thought we were growing stronger, getting on our feet, but then the pandemic struck. Large clients with whom we had already signed contracts put our cooperation on hold and the prospects were uncertain. No new clients were coming our way. Later, things started picking up, getting reasonably normal. In 2021, everything became fine. We have been in this market for quite a while and know how to write; our clients know us. Marketers, PR people who move from one company to another come back to us.
In the course of our work, we have repeatedly faced pressure. This has taken the form of increased interest in what we publish, especially when it concerns the activity of the opposition. With online reports from rallies, we would receive calls, asking us to remove the publications. Most of the time, we fought back by saying that we were simply doing our job, that no one was trying to stir things up with these articles.
We also noticed an increased interest in us after we joined Syndicate (Syndicate 100, an association of independent Russian media established in February 2020 — note by the project team). The founder and I were asked questions: what are you doing in Syndicate? Does Novaya Gazeta pay you? (Novaya Gazeta is part of Syndicate 100 — note by the project team) Have you been paid for this article? I found the questions absolutely absurd, but from the point of view of the ministry, they must have been logical. I replied that no one pays us or orders what to write.
Last year there was an incident, after which two members of the editorial staff were called in for questioning. We removed the publication in question from the website because we realized that anything could happen otherwise. The article mentioned, without much detail, a high-ranking official from Krasnodar Krai.