Finnish newspaper hides news about Ukraine for Russians in an online game

Newspaper uses secret room in an online game Counter-Strike to bypass Russian censorship and provide information about the war in Ukraine

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A Finish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat found a way to bypass Russian censorship about the war in Ukraine by using a secret room in an online multiplayer game Counter-Strike. The game is played by many online, and Russian players make up a tenth of the players.

The newspaper created a custom-built map de_vonya in a secret room underneath a map that players can stumble upon. Only ‘killed’ players can wander around the map and open the door to the secret room, where the map shows facts, figures, and photographs of the situation in Ukraine. If a player is still active or ‘alive’ in the game, the door to the secret room remains closed.

The newspaper said that to shed light on press freedom, they have created a custom map of a Slavic city called Voyna, meaning war in Russian. The information provided in the secret room is in Russian and is reported by the newspaper’s war correspondents in Ukraine. The map has been one of the most visited in the game during May.