Meduza, a prominent independent Russian-language news site, knew it was in trouble after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. But it didn’t expect the issues to come from Western sanctions.

Soon after the measures were announced, Russian readers began complaining payments via Stripe to the Latvian-based outlet weren’t going through, after the payments firm was forced to stop its service in the country.

"We couldn’t predict that the sanctions of Western governments will come first and destroy our crowdfunding,” forcing Meduza to start soliciting crypto and rely entirely on money from foreigners for the first time, Editor-in-Chief Ivan Kolpakov said.