Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider Russian news outlet, was questioned by Interior Ministry in connection with over a slander case. Here is escorted to a police van in Moscow in this still image from video taken on July 28 2021. Picture: REUTERS
Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider Russian news outlet, was questioned by Interior Ministry in connection with over a slander case. Here is escorted to a police van in Moscow in this still image from video taken on July 28 2021. Picture: REUTERS

Moscow — Russia has declared Roman Dobrokhotov, the editor of a news outlet that angered the Kremlin, a wanted man and accuses him of illegally crossing the border to leave Russia.

Dobrokhotov is the editor-in-chief of the The Insider, which was designated a “foreign agent” earlier this year after it investigated the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Media outlets and journalists critical of the authorities have faced mounting pressure this year ahead of a parliamentary election held earlier this month, and the campaign against people the authorities deem as threats to political stability shows no signs of letting up.

Dobrokhotov said he was outside Russia and didn’t want to disclose his location. He said the allegation that he had illegally crossed the border was absurd and that he had every right to travel outside the country.

“This is obviously a tool to put pressure on me in the first place and secondly an attempt to find out where I am and what sort of investigations I am currently engaged in,” he said.

Yulia Kuznetsova, his lawyer, said he had been declared a wanted person on September 23. There was no immediate confirmation of Dobrokhotov’s status from the authorities.

The Insider angered authorities by helping identify state security officials it said were behind the poisoning of Navalny in August last year. The Kremlin denies any responsibility for Navalny falling ill.

The Insider was one of several media outlets this year that Russia has declared “foreign agent” media, a designation that carries negative Soviet-era connotations, affects advertising revenue and imposes labelling requirements on the outlets.

The Kremlin denies media outlets are targeted for political reasons. It says action against them is solely based on the law, and that media labelled as foreign agents can continue their work in Russia.

Reuters

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