In this photo illustration, the Virtual Private Network (VPN) is seen displayed on a smartphone. .This type of connection establishes safe internet browsing, making your location invisible.Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/TASS

A U.S.-backed campaign is giving Russians access to anti-censor software to dodge Moscow’s crackdown on dissent against its invasion of Ukraine, involved groups told AFP.

Russia has intensified its restrictions on independent media since attacking its neighbor in February, with journalists under threat of prosecution for criticizing the invasion or for even referring to it as a war.

The U.S .government-backed Open Technology Fund is paying out money to a handful of American firms providing virtual private networks (VPNs) free of charge to millions of Russians, who can then use them to visit websites blocked by censors.

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