Free Media Awards 2018
Fontanka - Russia

Fontanka is an online regional newspaper operating out of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Over time, the newspaper has primarily focused on following up, reporting on and documenting the fact that private Russian militia have been involved in a variety of military operations in Eastern Ukraine and Syria.

The Russian authorities have generally been very cautious about reporting on military operations and the loss of Russian lives in areas of conflict. Fontanka has also run several stories that have exposed Russian collaboration with private military groups that are engaged in warfare, even though participation in private military forces is illegal in Russia.

As early as in October 2013, the newspaper wrote about Russian military groups’ intervention in the conflict in Syria. The topic has been meticulously followed up ever since, resulting in several subsequent investigative reports. Fontanka has received threats against online newspapers in general and against individual journalists in particular.

The newspaper staff strives to bring greater transparency to Russian military operations in international conflicts.

Fontanka focuses on the value of human life and the desire for legal recognition of that value. In this way, the online newspaper helps to shape Russian society by providing reliable information.


Fontanka was nominated by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.