Wie kaum ein zweiter hat Roman Badanin den Wandel der staatlichen russischen Medienpolitik am eigenen Leib erfahren: 1970 in Kurgan geboren, hat er in relativer Freiheit ab 1997 die journalistische Arbeit bei der unabhängigen Zeitung Iswestija kennengelernt, im Anschluss arbeitete Badanin in führenden Positionen russischer Medien wie Gazeta.ru sowie westlicher Medien in Russland wie Forbes.ru.
Roman Badanin experienced the change in state media policy in Russia first-hand like no other: born in Kurgan in 1970, he got to know the journalistic work in relative freedom from 1997 on at the independent newspaper Iswestija , after which Badanin worked in leading positions in Russian media such as Gazeta.ru as well as Western media in Russia such as Forbes.ru. Between 2014 and 2017, he encountered the increasing restrictions on media freedom as editor-in-chief of the news agency RBK and the government-critical TV channel Dozhd. In 2018, Roman Badanin, who studied at Stanford University as a fellow of John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship programme from 2017, founded the investigative portal Proekt (Project), which reports, among other things, on the Russian paramilitary organization “Wagner” and on the economic activities and corruption of Russian political elites.
From 2019, Proekt was monitored by government agencies and in 2021 it was the first independent news portal to be included in the list of “undesirable organizations”. Putin's regime declared Badanin and other members of the editorial board “foreign agents”. Their homes were searched and heavy fines and imprisonment were threatened if Proekt continued. Badanin - just on a trip abroad - decided not to return to Russia. Proekt continued to be operated from abroad, while Roman Badanin founded the investigative platform Agentstvo (The Agency) in autumn 2021. Badanin currently works as a Senior JSK Fellow at Stanford University.