— When Navalny’s office was closed in Bryansk in November 2020, my friends and I created a YouTube channel called Zhivoy Region. We wanted to create a regional media outlet, but not exactly a news outlet. We didn’t have any continuous news agenda, but rather looked for some regional problems and wrote about them — about broken roads or picketing, for instance.
At the end of November 2021, I left Russia due to pressure from law enforcement. As I was the coordinator of Navalny’s office in Bryansk, I faced up to 10 years in prison in the big case over an extremist community. In addition, I received direct threats from employees of the Center for Combating Extremism. Before January, I tried not to appear in the public space: I wanted to settle down somewhere first, and then work on the project. At the very beginning of January, a friend of mine was summoned to a police office. It turned out that this was due to his participation in rallies. After that, I started working on Zhivoy Region again.
I did not sleep all night of February 23 to 24, and in the morning, I began to write news about the war — first, on my social media accounts, and then on the social media pages of Zhivoy Region. It so happened that I’ve been the only person involved in this project recently. At first there were three of us, then we were two, and then, ultimately, there was just me. People from Bryansk send me information, I work on it and write posts.