Helsingin Sanomat began publishing its Ukraine and Russia-related news on-line, in Russian last year. But Russia quickly blocked the content.

Editor-in-chief Antero Mukka, speaking to Reuters on Press Freedom Day on May 3, said that "As we have been widely concerned about the press freedom situation and freedom of speech in Russia, we decided that maybe it's possible to find some new channels to provide Russian audience with some reliable, independent journalism for example about the situations in Ukraine."

They found that in the on-line ‘shoot-em up’ game, ‘Counter-Strike’, which was created by the US game-maker Valve Corporation in 2012. Counter-Strike is one of the world's top 10 most popular PC games, particularly, with young Russian men.


The game allows users to create their own content which Helsingin Sanomat did. It created the map of a war-torn city called "De_Voyna", which references the Russian word for war, ‘voyna’, the use of which is prohibited in Russia.

Hidden within the map is a secret room where the paper posted images and texts of reports on the war in Ukraine, including some of the atrocities witnessed by its staff.

Mukka went on: "If some young men in Russia, just because of this game, happen to think for a couple of seconds what is going on in Ukraine then it's worth it."

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter