Team 29: ❌ Russia Shuts Down and an opening on the team

27 June 2020

Hi. It’s Aleksei Yurtaev.

We’ve completed the first season of our Russia Shuts Down podcast.  Over seven episodes of the podcast, we explained how our country has changed over the decades.  If you’d like to know how the independent Tomsk TV channel TV2 shut down, why people illegally fled the USSR in the years running up to perestroika, or how and why information on the health of top officials is being covered up, then listen to us on the show, wherever you get your podcasts: Apple, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Yandex.Music, Simplecast, and VK!

Vitaly Volk, founder of the Telegram channel ‘Podcasts Prevail’, wrote of us: 

[The show] has turned out to be both intimate and wide-reaching at the same time: it got interviews with Yeltsin’s former press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky and the journalist Sergei Parkhomenko, for example, and yet it feels like you are being told about it all in confidence by a friend, in the kitchen.

That’s pretty much exactly what we were going for.

In the new (latest) episode, we tell the story of military journalist Grigory Pasko, one of the first people to be accused of treason.  In 1997, Pasko was arrested right in Vladivostok Airport and convicted of spying for Japan.  Listen to how Grigory Pasko ran for the State Duma from solitary confinement, how his lawyers managed to get him paroled (he served one year instead of four), and what FSB officers themselves said about that case years later. Listen on all platforms: Apple, Google Podcasts, Yandex.MusicСastbox, Simplecast, YouTube, and VK!

The next season of Team 29 podcasts will be entirely dedicated to people on trial for treason – don’t miss it!

While everyone’s voting (or not) in the glorious exit polls, our lawyers will be looking at what there will actually be in the new Constitution (which, incidentally, will be passed regardless of our expressed collective will).  Senior Team 29 lawyer Maksim Olenichev discusses this in a short video.

On 8 June 2020, the Federal Law ‘On a unified register of information about the population of Russia’ came into effect.  It means that soon, reams of our personal data will end up, by perfectly legal means, in the hands of Russian officials.  Senior Team 29 lawyer Darya Sukhikh told us how this will happen and exactly what to expect.

Finally, we’re looking for a journalist with editorial skills.  If this sounds like you, and you have experience of working on investigative pieces, long-form articles, stories, analysis, and interviews, and, in addition, you know your way around Team 29 topics, then email your CV to

Relax this weekend and stay healthy. Bye!

Translated by Lindsay Munford

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