Russian security personnel searched the homes of two investigative journalists in Moscow on Tuesday morning. Raids on journalists The project (The project) came shortly after the publication of an investigation into the belongings of the Russian Interior Minister and his links with criminals.
Proekt is an independent research platform, founded in 2018. About fifteen journalists do a lot of research on the relationships between politics, business and the mafia. Last year they broke the news of Putin’s secret daughter. The searches were carried out at the home of founder and editor-in-chief Roman Badanin and journalist Maria Zgolubova. Deputy editor-in-chief Mikhail Rubin was also detained for questioning. Proekt’s website was down briefly on Tuesday.
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According to Badanin’s lawyers, the official indictment revolves around a 2017 film by Proekt about Ilya Traber, a controversial St Petersburg businessman and friend of Putin. Journalists are suspected of defamation. Zgolubova told Russian media that she had no doubts that the searches were already revolving around the new investigation.
Spacious country house
The investigation, currently available on Proekt’s website and YouTube, concerns secret villas belonging to Vladimir Kolokoltsev, a former police officer and Minister of the Interior since May 2012. Kolokoltsev’s son, Alexander, 32, owns a spacious country house outside Moscow worth 13.8 million euros, according to Proekt, It is a gift from the Izmailovskaya criminal group. The land registry does not mention anything about the villa. Another house worth 2.3 million euros in the name of his sister-in-law, but in fact it will be owned by Kolokoltsev.
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Russia’s independent media is likely to expose politicians’ corruption through their origins. Previous revelations by the opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation about the fortunes of then-Prime Minister Medvedev and President Putin sparked a lot of interest inside and outside Russia.
Since the beginning of this year, the repression of independent media in Russia has increased sharply. Journalists are intimidated and arrested – temporarily or otherwise. media like VTimes On Jellyfish They were labeled a “foreign agent”, causing advertisers to withdraw. VTimes has since been discontinued. Everything indicates that the Putin government wants to suppress criticism as much as possible in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in September.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of June 30, 2021