A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate Russia Insider Questionable based on extreme right wing bias, poor sourcing, promotion of state propaganda and conspiracy theories as well as promotion of antisemitism.
Reasoning: Extreme Right, State Propaganda, Conspiracy, Poor Sourcing, Fake News, Antisemitism
World Press Freedom Rank: Russia 149/180
Russia Insider is a news website launched in September 2014, based in Moscow, Russia. Russia Insider reports on political and social affairs and aims to provide an alternative view to the mainstream news about Russia and country-related issues. Its mission is media criticism and reform, underlining the issues of Western media which are seen by the founders as extremely biased, especially on Russia. The current editors are Charles Bausman, Riley Waggaman and David Curry.
Funded by / Ownership
The website claims they are owned by their founders and state they are funded through crowdfunding. However, several news agencies have reported that they have either sought or received money from Russian oligarchs who are close to the Kremlin.
Analysis / Bias
The website has a tagline that reads “Epstein didn’t kill himself.” While that may or may not be true, this statement reflects the content of this website. Stories tend to promote conspiracies and make assumptions of the unknown.
In review, Russia Insider reports news from a pro-Russian government perspective. Headlines and articles often contain loaded emotional wording that is negative toward America such as this: Oligarchy in America: How the 0.1% Rob Everyone Else Blind – 31 Shocking Data Points. This story is reasonably sourced. However, not all articles are sourced properly as we found one sourced to the conspiracy website Infowars. When reporting on Russia there is never an article critical of President Putin, while many articles glorify him as a leader such as this: Putin’s Greatest Hits, 20 Yr Compilation Video from Kremlin, Including Folk Dancing with George Bush II. Reporting on the United States often takes a right wing perspective that is supportive of President Trump. For example, in this story they publish misleading information regarding immigration: Majority of Babies Born in US in 2019 Were From Illegal Immigrants or Tourists, to Obtain Citizenship. This story is republished from the right wing hate group American Renaissance. In general, news reporting is strongly right biased that promotes Russian propaganda.
Many outlets have accused Russia Insider as a pro-Kremlin propaganda arm:
- Russia Hacking The News – Forbes
- Commission: Russian propaganda has deeply penetrated EU countries – Euractiv
- Is Russia Insider Sponsored By A Russian Oligarch With Ties To The European Far Right? – The Interpreter
- How Russia Is Using LinkedIn as a Tool of War Against Its U.S. Enemies – Newsweek
Russia Insider has also been accused of antisemitism:
- Prominent Russian Website Publishes Virulent Anti-Semitic Screed – Tablet
- How Vicious anti-Semitism Quietly Aids Moscow’s Covert Influence Campaign in the U.S – Haaretz
- Too Racist for Russian Propaganda? – Daily Beast
A factual search reveals they have not been fact checked by an IFCN fact checker, however Rand.org has discovered several instances of false or misleading claims.
Overall, we rate Russia Insider Questionable based on extreme right wing bias, poor sourcing, promotion of state propaganda and conspiracy theories as well as promotion of antisemitism. (D. Van Zandt 1/1/2017) Updated (1/19/2020)