Duma lawmaker calls for investigation into Novaya Gazeta Europe over ‘anti-Russian propaganda’

Andrey Lugovoy. Photo: Lugovoy’s Telegram channel

Andrey Lugovoy. Photo: Lugovoy’s Telegram channel

A member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Andrey Lugovoy, has publicly called for an investigation into Novaya Gazeta Europe and its editor-in-chief Kirill Martynov, accusing it of being “at the forefront of anti-Russian propaganda” and of advocating the violent overthrow of the Russian government.

Lugovoy, a former FSB agent who is the prime suspect in the 2006 murder of Russian political dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London, said he had asked Russia’s Investigative Committee to undertake a thorough legal assessment of the newspaper’s activities, claiming that it had popularised the positions of “extremist and terrorist” groups and that its staff was responsible for the “spread of Russophobic ideology”.

Novaya Gazeta Europe’s employees, Lugovoy wrote, had “found no other way to earn income abroad other than to sell out their country,” and drew attention to Martynov’s association with the Wilson Center, an American political think tank, as well as co-founding of Moscow’s Free University in 2020 with two other former professors at Russia’s Higher School of Economics after all three were fired from their positions.

The Free University, which offered academic tuition at no cost, was designated an “undesirable organisation” in March 2023, forcing it to close down. Three months later, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office gave Novaya Gazeta Europe the same classification.

Lugovoy was elected to Russia’s lower house of parliament in 2007, just months after Alexander Litvinenko was killed using the highly toxic element Polonium. The European Court of Human Rights found it beyond reasonable doubt that Lugovoy and another former FSB agent, Dmitry Kovtun, had been responsible for Litvinenko’s murder, though neither man ever faced legal consequences due to Russia’s refusal to extradite them.

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