As you may have learned from the crowdfunding banners now adorning this website, the Russian authorities designated Meduza as a “foreign agent” on April 23. Our new status in Russia has chased away advertisers and deprived us of revenue, endangering Meduza’s continued existence. We asked the Justice Ministry why it believes we are “foreign agents,” and officials sent a formal response (translated below) that explains almost nothing. Why did the Justice Ministry act now? Why did it target Meduza? And who ordered this? Meduza correspondents spoke to sources with knowledge of the Kremlin’s inner workings and found two plausible theories.