With this website you can send messages to Russian citizens to tell them the truth about the invasion of Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is having a great impact on the handling of information, especially due to the control exercised by the government of Vladimir Putin over the Russian media. However, there are alternatives that aim to break with censorship. One of them is Squad303, a website that allows you to send text messages or emails to Russian citizens, to tell them what is really happening on Ukrainian territory.

The platform, created by Polish developers, aims to break the Russian blockade on news and communications related to the war that arrive from other countries. Squad303 uses a database with more than 20 million phone numbers and 140 million email addresses belonging to Russian citizens. Thus, any person in the world can send a message to another random individual, in order to provide more information about what is happening on Ukrainian territory.

As published by The Wall Street Journal, Squad303 began operating on March 6, a few days after the Russian invasion began. Since then, around 7 million text messages and 2 million e-mails have been sent, indicated those in charge of the service. In this way, it seeks to alert about what is happening in the war in Ukraine, regardless of what is seen in the Russian media.

The utility presents a very simple graphical interface, with a box that randomly shows the phone numbers available for communication. Users can copy them and send the message they think is pertinent; even some default texts written in Russian are displayed, ready to share. They include phrases like “The Kremlin is lying! Putin's war has brought disaster to the people of Russia! There is no money in the banks, there is no fuel, all foreign companies have left the country! hides in his palace in Gelendzhik!”.

Squad303 intends to break Russian censorship in the Ukraine war

Since the war broke out, Russia has been fighting with Ukraine and other countries to control the narrative about what is happening in Eastern Europe. On the one hand, official Russian media such as RT and Sputnik have been blocked on countless platforms, and virtually everywhere in the world. In return, the Kremlin has given the thumbs down to Facebook and Instagram, preventing millions of people from accessing social networks. And even Wikipedia itself has been involved in controversies about how the conflict is covered.

And in this permanent “pull and loosen” between governments and corporations, Squad303 wants to be the alternative for citizens from anywhere in the world to have a different view of the war in Ukraine than the one they see the Russians through official propaganda. “Our goal was to break Putin's digital censorship wall and make sure that Russians are not totally cut off from the world and from the reality of what Russia is doing in Ukraine,” they told the WSJ from the platform.

However, not everything is rosy. Messages sent through Squad303 could pose a risk to the Russian citizens who receive them. As recently published by The Telegraph, the police began to implement controls in the Moscow metro; in them people would be forced to unlock their mobiles to see their messages, in search of dissidents . And although the Russian government itself has come out to deny it, there have been multiple arrests during the demonstrations against the war in Ukraine.