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Editor who investigated Navalny poisoning says Russia declares him wanted man By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Roman Dobrokhotov, the editor-in-chief of “The Insider” Russian news outlet, who was taken in by Interior Ministry officers for questioning over a slander case, is escorted to a police van in Moscow, Russia July 28, 2021, in this still image t

By Anton Zverev and Tom Balmforth

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The editor of a Russian news outlet that angered the Kremlin with its investigations, including into the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, said the authorities had declared him a wanted man.

Roman Dobrokhotov was the editor-in chief of The Insider. He told Reuters that he had been accused of illegally crossing Russia’s border.

He claimed he was not in Russia at the moment and didn’t want to reveal his exact location. The method by which he left Russia was not disclosed.

An inquiry to the Interior Ministry was unsuccessful. The authorities did not confirm Dobrokhotov’s current status.

Press outlets and journalists criticizing the authorities were under increasing pressure prior to the parliamentary elections this month. The campaign against those authorities consider as threats or disruptors of political stability is not slowing down.

Authorities were angered by the Insider’s identification of state security officers it claimed were responsible for Navalny’s poisoning in August 2013. Navalny fell ill was denied by the Kremlin.

Russia this year designated The Insider as a “foreign agent media” outlet. This designation carries negative Soviet-era connotations and affects advertising revenues. It also imposes labelling obligations on outlets.

Kremlin says media outlets are not being targeted by political purposes. They claim that they are only being prosecuted under the law. Media labelled foreign agents may continue working in Russia.

Dobrokhoyov stated on Twitter that police raided two Moscow homes belonging to Dobrokhotov and his family. They also seized computers and mobile phones. The Insider reports that his wife was also taken into police custody for questioning.

Yulia Kuznetsova his lawyer stated to Reuters that he had been made a wanted person on Sept. 23.

Dobrokhotov claimed that police took his passport and used it as evidence in a slander investigation.

Dobrokhotov said that police took his passport in violation of Russian law and that he could travel to Russia without restriction. He said that he thought the claim that he illegally crossed the border was absurd.

He stated that the accusation of illegally crossing the border was a pressure tactic. “Secondly, it is an attempt to locate me and to determine what investigations I’m currently involved in.”

Dobrokhotov, who earlier this month claimed that the Russian state had destroyed the media, said that he was faced with a decision about leaving Russia or staying to become political prisoners.

Dobrokhotov went to a Tallinn, Estonia conference attended by his allies and Alexei Navalny (a Kremlin critic).

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