Russia puts the foreign investigative journalist on its most wanted list


Russia He developed an investigative journalist Christo Grosef On the “wanted” list, according to the Russian Ministry of Interior.

Grozev, who is Bulgarian, is the lead Russian investigator for the Bellingcat Journalism Group.

Information posted on the ministry’s website said he was “wanted under an article of the penal code,” without specifying the exact article.

According to the independent Observatory for Human Rights OVD-Info, a criminal case has been opened against Grosev on the dissemination of “false news” about the Russian army.

The Russian government adopted a law criminalizing the publication of what it calls “intentionally false” information about Russia’s armed forces in early March, just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an all-out invasion of Ukraine. The maximum penalty under the law is 15 years in prison.

Grozev has reported extensively on Russia’s involvement in a number of high-profile international crimes, including 2014 Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 In eastern Ukraine, 2018 was poisoned Sergey and Yulia Skripal in the UK. Moscow has repeatedly denied responsibility for either attack.

Together with the team of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and journalists from CNN and other media outlets, Grosev also investigated Navalny was poisoned in 2020.

It focuses on “security threats, extraterritorial covert operations, and the weaponization of information,” according to the Bellingcat website.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, Grosev has been using open-source digital tools to document war crimes and other atrocities committed during the conflict.

On Monday, Grozev said he did not know why he had been added to Russia’s wanted list.

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“I have no idea why the Kremlin has put me on their ‘wanted list’ and therefore cannot offer any comments at this time. In a way it doesn’t matter – they have made it clear for years that they are afraid of our work and will stop at nothing to make it disappear.”

Putin The regime had been systematically dismantling a free press for years, but the crackdown on independent publications and journalists intensified in late February.

All remaining independent Russian media outlets have been shut down and online access to those operating from abroad has been blocked. Western publications and social networking sites were also banned.

According to OVD-Info, at least 370 people faced criminal prosecution for anti-war statements and speeches. The Observatory stated that dozens of them fled Russia and were put on the wanted list.

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