Wag the Bear: How a Danish NGO helps deliver the truth to Russians via YouTube

“You want answers/I want the truth!/You can’t handle the truth!”

Only in the 2023 version of ‘A Few Good Men’, where Jack Nicholson portrays the Russian state and a Danish NGO, The WHY Foundationwill be played by Tom Cruise.

That leaves the jury as to the people of Russia, who, courtesy of the NGO, can now access a wide range of Russian-language documentaries on subjects relevant to their current situation – primarily as the aggressors in the war in Ukraine.

Provides reliable facts
Described as “fact-based” and “reliable”, the WHY Foundation has selected 50 documentaries – focusing on themes such as war, democracy, diversity, corruption, slavery and children’s, women’s and LGBTQ+ issues – to dub into Russian and broadcast on his YouTube channel.

Since March 1, the WHY Foundation has released five new documentaries every Wednesday. The first five were ‘Putin’s Kiss’, ‘Albino Boy in Africa’, ‘Leaving the Cult’, ‘Please Vote For Me’ and ‘My Afghanistan’.

Furthermore, the rights to display them have also been granted to some of Russia’s neighbors, including Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Mongolia.

Crucial timing
“It is absolutely critical that we bring this information to Russian speakers now, as we see Ukraine still fighting for freedom a year after the invasion,” said Mette Hoffmann Meyer, executive director of The WHY Foundation.

“People-focused documentaries have the power to initiate dialogue and challenge the ‘us and them’ narrative currently perpetuated in Russian media. It can evoke a strong emotional response from viewers and inform them of issues they never knew existed – especially if they can watch the movies in their mother tongue.”

The WHY Foundation cited a 2021 study claiming that Russians are among the most active social media users in Europe, averaging just under 150 minutes a day.

YouTube is one of the country’s most popular platforms and, despite media crackdowns, is accessible to 80 percent of Russian internet users.

Source: The Nordic Page




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