Famous for his Erast Fandorin novels, Akunin has been based in London since leaving Russia in 2014 in protest at the country’s annexation of Crimea.
Boris Akunin. Photo: Dmitry Smirnov
A long-standing Putin critic, Akunin has been repeatedly targeted by the Russian authorities for his opposition to the war in Ukraine, and was added to a list of “terrorists and extremists” in December following a prank call in which he was recorded expressing his support for Ukraine.
“I, the terrorist and extremist … have been declared a foreign agent? I feel like I’m Bin Laden and I’ve just been given a parking ticket,” Akunin joked on his Telegram channel on Friday.
The Justice Ministry’s latest list of so-called “foreign agents” also included veteran Novaya Gazeta journalist Alexander Minkin, among others.
Under Russian law, books by “foreign agents” cannot be sold to minors and must be shrink-wrapped. After Akunin’s designation as a “terrorist and extremist” in December, his Russian publisher stopped releasing his books, and many Russian bookshops removed his works from their shelves.