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Finnish newspaper uses Counter-Strike to provide accurate Russian reporting on Ukraine invasion

For World Press Freedom Day.

The de_vonya map in CS:GO
Image credit: Helsingin Sanomat

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat is using Counter-Strike to provide Russian players with accurate news on Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The newspaper created a map in CS:GO to distribute "independent journalism", which launched yesterday on World Press Freedom Day.

The map (pictured), based on a war-torn Slavic city, includes a secret room that shows uncensored footage of the Ukraine invasion in Russian.

Counter-Strike 2: Leveling Up The WorldWatch on YouTube

"Russians have very little chance to receive independent information about Putin's invasion of Ukraine," Helsingin Sanomat editor-in-chief Antero Mukka told GamesRadar.

"However, the gaming world and gamers themselves are still left unchecked. That's why we decided to hide a newspaper inside the world's most popular war game. We built a map of a Slavic city devastated by a war, inside the game, with a secret room that offers Russian gamers an uncensored access to the horrors of the war in Ukraine in their native language."

Those "horrors" are based on images and collections of text witnessed by the newspaper's reporters.

And the map's name is de_vonya, which translates to war in Russian - a word that's censored by Russian authorities.

"Ordinary Russians know practically nothing about the war crimes and atrocities toward civilians committed by the Russian army," Mukka said.

"One of the most touching stories in the secret room is about a Ukrainian man that went to the store. While he was there, Russian troops killed his family with a missile strike. The secret room built into the game is meant to force Russian gamers to face what's really going on in the war in Ukraine."

The map is available to download in CS:GO if you want to check it out.

Meanwhile, Counter-Strike 2 is on the way this summer marking the "largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike's history".