Russian Govt Declares OCCRP “undesirable”

Here’s their latest update

On Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Justice announced that OCCRP has been designated an “undesirable” organization under a vague Russian law (Federal Law of 23.05.2015 N 129-FZ), which, as critics predicted when it was enacted in 2015, has been increasingly used as a cudgel to punish anyone who seeks to tell the truth about the country.

In practical terms, being declared “undesirable” means nothing to OCCRP as an organization. We are registered in the U.S. and never had formal operations in Russia. We stopped contracting employees in Russia in September 2021. We no longer have any physical or logistical presence in Russia. However, we do employ and work with Russian citizens outside of Russia. Most work with organizations that have already been designated undesirable.

That said, the designation effectively criminalizes our work and our existence as journalists, which could cause serious problems for some of our readers and staff. Russian citizens who repost OCCRP stories will now be subject to a warning, and risk imprisonment if they continue. We may be arrested while visiting the country and any Russian citizen working with OCCRP could be arrested.

This bullying tactic was embarked on in a desperate last effort to control the flow of information reaching Russians. But as a publisher of Russian-language stories, we can see this is not working. Readers in Russia are still finding and reading our stories. This is especially important now, when their leaders are making life-and-death decisions and using the power of the state to protect their own stolen foreign assets. So we will redouble our efforts, focusing more, not less, attention on the actions of the Russian government.