MOSCOW – Russia on Friday added the Bulgarian journalist and longtime Kremlin critic to its list of “foreign operatives” and ordered his arrest.
After President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine last February, Moscow stepped up efforts to root out dissent, with most independent media outlets shutting down or suspending operations.
Christo Grozev, 53, a Bulgarian, is the lead Russian journalist for Bellingcat’s investigative website and played a key role in the investigation. Poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Russia’s Interior Ministry added Groszev to its list of foreign operatives on Friday, and a Moscow court ordered Grossev’s arrest, Russian news agency reported.
Grozev is currently not in Russia.
Moscow has widely used the label of “foreign agents” with Stalin-era connotations to Kremlin critics, but rarely to foreigners.
According to Russian law, you can slap an individual “regardless of citizenship.”
Late last year, Groszev was put on a wanted list by Russian authorities, and the FSB Internal Security Service also accused him of aiding Ukrainian intelligence services.
Grozev has extensively covered Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
On Friday, the RIA Novosti news agency cited a source that investigators accused Grozev of helping prominent Russian journalist Roman Dobrokhotov “cross the border illegally.”
Dobrokhotov is the founder of investigative news website The Insider.
Before the Kremlin launched a full-scale attack last year, Bellingcat was already investigating the downing of MH17, which killed all 298 people in eastern Ukraine in 2014, and involved Russian-backed fighter jets. He argued that it was likely that
Moscow denies any involvement in the downing of the plane. AFPMore
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/russia-declares-bulgarian-journalist-a-foreign-agent Russia declares Bulgarian journalists ‘foreign agents’