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Maria Karpenko is a St. Petersburg correspondent for the Kommersant daily newspaper. She reports on regional politics and is a member of the pool covering the activities of the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly. Maria works with the human rights organisation Team 29. She graduated from the faculty of journalism at the Saint Petersburg State University.

“In my understanding of our profession a journalist is not a fighter. Irrespective of his or her views, a journalist is always just an observer. As part of my work I have often had to observe those who fight against dissent. Participation in the Side by Side Film Festival is a rare and valuable opportunity to observe the opposite, the struggle for the chance to think differently.” 


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