Type of site
|News and opinion|
|Available in||English, Russian|
|Editor||Charles Bausman, Riley Waggaman and David Curry|
|Alexa rank||35,799 (November 2017[update])|
Russia Insider is a news website that was launched in September 2014 by American expatriates living in Russia. The website describes itself as providing an alternative to how Russia is portrayed in the Western media. Other sources have described it as being "pro-Russian," "pro-Kremlin", advocating and pushing anti-semitism and creating false or misleading content.
Foundation and funding
Russia Insider was founded in 2014 by Charles Bausman, an expatriate who had lived in Moscow for nearly 30 years, and who had been dissatisfied with what he perceived as the Western media's coverage of the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine. Bausman described the website as "citizen journalism" and stated that it has no relation to and is not funded by the Russian government. Its deputy editor is Riley Waggaman and its director of operations and human resources is David Curry.
In late 2015, Anton Shekhovtsov who investigates the far right in Russia, asserted that Bausman had sought funding from Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who is reportedly close to the Kremlin, citing emails leaked by Anonymous International in which Alexey Komov acted as an intermediary. Shekhovtsov, wrote in an article for Haaretz in January 2018 that the website was "originally launched to attack Ukraine after its former president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and fled to Russia, by accusing the new Ukrainian authorities of fascism and anti-Semitism."
Casey Michel, writing in ThinkProgress in 2018, similarly asserted that "a series of leaked emails showed site founder and editor Charles Bausman requesting funding from Konstantin Malofeev...as Bausman wrote to one of Malofeev’s associates, 'I still need money!!'"  The solicitation to Malofeev was cited as evidence of Russia Insider's connection to the far-right in Russia and Europe. The website itself has said it is dependent on crowdfunding, indicating that from 2014 toJanuary 2018 it had received $300,000.
The website has been criticized for its pro-Russian stance, and considered a "pro-Kremlin propaganda site" by Newsweek, BBC News and the Slate website, among others. It is considered by the Euractiv website to be alongside "several highly visible partisan outlets such as RT, Ruptly and Sputnik", Bausman has himself been invited to speak on Russian state owned TV Rossiya 1 and Russia Today. Russia Today later issued a statement which said: "RT categorically and unequivocally condemns the disgusting hate speech promoted by the recent Russia Insider article, its author, and the platform as a whole, and rejects any association to such".
On January 15, 2018, Russia Insider published an editorial by Bausman entitled "It's Time to Drop the Jew Taboo" in which he described the hostility to Putin's Russia as "largely a Jewish phenomenon," alleged a "strict taboo in the media of criticizing Jews as a group, and announced that "from now on, the pages of Russia Insider will be open to articles which fairly and honestly address the influence of Jewish elites, including pointing out when it is malevolent, which it often is". Vladislav Davidzon, contributing to the American Tablet magazine, wrote that the article "contained a comprehensive litany of the most vile accusations against Jews dating back more than one hundred years". Racist articles appear regularly on this site. For example, on October 15, 2019, the site's main page contained the following titles: "On the Necessity of Anti-semitism," "Holohoax Denial Is Not Illegal in Russia," "Another Bombshell Book Crushing the Holohoax Lie," "Nazi Germany Had Unequalled Quality of Life," The Russian Church in Exile Strongly (and Rightly) Supported Hitler's Invasion of Russia," "Yet Another Jew Gives a Prescription for Getting Rid of White Gentiles."
- Gray, Rossie (September 30, 2014). "Expats launch new site to defend Russia". BuzzFeedNews. Washington DC. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Femmes, Anne W. (March 29, 2015). "Greenwich native launches alternative new site Russia-Insider.com". Greenwich Time. Greenwich, Connecticut. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "Russia-insider.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa". Alexa Internet. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- "About". russia-insider.com. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Himler, Peter (March 10, 2015). "Russia Hacking The News". Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Stein, Jeff (August 3, 2017). "How Russia is Using LinkedIn as a Tool of War Against its U.S. Enemies". Newsweek. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "Antisemitism and pro-Kremlin propaganda". The Disinformation Review. East StratCom Team. January 19, 2018. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Michel, Casey (February 16, 2018). "Why is this Russia 'expert' writing for an anti-Semitic outlet?". ThinkProgress. Center for American Progress Action Fund. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (November 23, 2015). "Is Russia Insider Sponsored By A Russian Oligarch With Ties To The European Far Right?". The Interpreter. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Gotev, Georgi (July 14, 2016). "Commission: Russian propaganda has deeply penetrated EU countries". Euractiv. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Davidzon, Vladislav (January 18, 2018). "Prominent Russian Website Publishes Virulent Anti-semitic Screed". Tablet. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Helmus, Todd C.; Bodine-Baron, Elizabeth; Radin, Andrew; Madeline, Magnuson (2018). Russian Social Media Influence - Understanding Russian Propaganda in Eastern Europe (PDF). Santa Monica, California: RAND Corporation. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-8330-9957-0. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Russian Insider
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (January 29, 2019). "How Vicious anti-Semitism Quietly Aids Moscow's Covert Influence Campaign in the U.S". Haaretz. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
- Kovalev, Alexey (January 18, 2016). "Russian propaganda's daisy chain". Meduza. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Ennis, Stephen (November 16, 2015). "Russia's global media operation under the spotlight". BBC News. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Keating, Joshua (March 12, 2018). "Why It's Surprising to Hear Putin Blaming Jews for Election Meddling". Slate. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018.
- Collins, Ben (20 January 2018). "Too Racist for Russian Propaganda?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Bausman, Charles (January 15, 2018). "It's Time to Drop the Jew Taboo". Russia Insider. Retrieved 16 January 2018.