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Searches conducted in homes of journalists from different regions of Russia in connection to 'fake news' case

In Russia’s Yekaterinburg, law enforcement agents conducted a search at the place of residence of the editor-in-chief of local outlet Vecherny Vedomosti, Vladislav Postnikov, report pro-government Telegram channel URALLIVE and local media E1.RU.

According to the video published by URALLIVE, the agents broke the door to the flat of Postnikov, however, there was no one inside. The search in the flat of the journalist was allegedly conducted due to his connections to the anti-war Telegram and YouTube channels February Morning belonging to ex-deputy of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of Parliament) Ilya Ponomarev. Ponomarev is a person of interest in a criminal case under the so-called “fake news” law (which criminalises “public dissemination of false information” about the Russian army - translator's note).

Searches were also conducted in the Moscow region city of Odintsovo — four journalists and the director of outlet Odintsovo-INFO, Andrey Ostroukhov, had their places searched, reports independent Russian human rights outlet OVD-Info. According to the outlet’s information, these searches are also connected to a case under the “fake news” law. The law enforcement agents did not seize anything or detain anyone. Ostroukhov was summoned for questioning as a witness.

Photographer Ruslan Sukhushin’s place was searched in Moscow in connection to Ponomarev’s case. There was a search conducted at the place of journalist Sergey Nosov in the village of Baklanovo in the Orlov region. Another search was carried out at the residence of administrator of the Orlec outlet Viktor Zyryanov in the city of Reutov, Moscow region.

Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti also reports, citing a source, that the searches being conducted are connected to people working for Telegram and YouTube channels of Ponomarev.

“Administrators of the channels February Morning have been identified, searches are being carried out at their places of residence,” RIA’s interlocutor said. They added that, according to the investigators, the Duma ex-deputy, while not currently present in Russia, continues “destructive activities against Russia via messengers and social media” from abroad.

URALLIVE also claims that a search was conducted in the flat of journalist Yulia Glazova in Tumen — allegedly due to her connections to the aforementioned channels and politician Ponomarev.

In the morning of 8 September, another search was carried out in the flat of activist and RusNews journalist Bella Nasibyan, reports OVD-Info. There was no reason or justification given for the search. Beforehand, Nasibyan discovered that her bank accounts had been blocked.

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